A day after Bhai Virendra – a senior RJD MLA – said that being the “largest constituent” of the Maha Gathbandhan whatever decision the party makes must be acceptable to other alliance partners, JD-U has hit back saying it would take just five minutes to walk out of the Maha Gathbandhan and quit the power.
“Nitish Kumar is the leader of the Maha Gathbandhan, no one else. Those who are threatening of having 80 MLAs with them should not be in any kind of confusion. It won’t take us even 5 minutes to quit government, power. Power is least important for us,” JD-U spokesperson Ajay Alok told India Today.
Yesterday, RJD MLA Bhai Virendra said, “Lalu Prasad is our leader and we have 80 MLAs. What we want will happen.”
Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad’s heir apparent and Deputy chief minister of Bihar, along with his mother Rabri Devi, is among those named in the CBI FIR in connection to irregularities in awarding tenders for maintenance of hotels in Ranchi and Puri during Lalu Prasad’s tenure as the Railway Minister. Other members of Lalu Prasad’s family are also facing similar corruption charges for illegally acquiring properties and lands in different parts of the country.
In the wake of his deputy Tejashwi Yadav named in the CBI FIR, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that those facing corruption charges should come clean by giving fact-wise reply to public.
Kumar is learnt to have given a four-day ultimatum to Tejashwi and the deadline ends on Saturday. But it seems that the RJD, which maintains that the deputy chief minister has been framed by the BJP, is no mood to mollify Nitish Kumar.
The JD-U, however, has said that Nitish Kumar will never compromise his stance of zero tolerance on corruption. “Nitish Kumar is leading the coalition government and JD-U’s stand on corruption is clear. The party expects Tejashwi to give a clear-cut explanation (on charges of corruption). Nitish will take an appropriate decision (on Tejashwi) at the right time,” JD-U general secretary Sanjay Jha was quoted as saying.
“In his public meeting in Madhubani after demonetisation was announced, Nitishji had publicly said demonetisation was not enough and war against benami properties will be more effective. How can Nitishji sit with a person next to him until he comes clean?” he added.
Reports also indicate that Nitish Kumar is considering all options and readying a plan-B in case the Maha Gathbandhan breaks.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former Deputy chief minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi has sent fillers to Nitish Kumar saying that the JD-U president was always “comfortable” in the company of the BJP.
“Nitish Kumar was always comfortable in the company of BJP and he was most comfortable when he was the Railway Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 2001-2004. That was the golden period of his political career,” Modi said while speaking at The Indian Express Idea Exchange programme.