RJD, JD(U) headed for split over corruption charges against Tejashwi

The JD(U) today ramped up pressure on alliance partner RJD over the corruption case involving Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, asking it to come clean on the allegations against him. Tejashwi, son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, has been named by the CBI as an accused in its probe into the land-for-hotels scam case. Amid a growing rift in the coalition on the issue, state Janata Dal (United) chief spokesman Sanjay Singh said the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) should provide facts and not “display arrogance” of having 80 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar Assembly. “The RJD, which is showing arrogance of 80 MLAs, should not forget that it was reduced to 22 MLAs in the 2010 state polls and in the election in 2015, their number swelled due to the credible face of Nitish Kumar as the head of the coalition,” he told PTI.
The JD(U) has 71 MLAs and the other alliance partner Congress 27 while the BJP, which is the main opposition in the House, has 53 MLAs. The Assembly has representation from the CPI(ML), the HAM (Secular), the LJP and the RLSP among others. Singh was reacting to the “80-MLA” remark of Ram Chandra Purve, the Bihar unit chief of the RJD.
In Delhi, JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would never compromise on the issue of corruption. “Nitish Kumar’s stand on corruption is well known. He will never compromise on it,” he said. Asked what his party expected from the RJD over the charges against Tejashwi, Tyagi said the RJD leader should give a detailed explanation over the allegations, an issue his party had made clear following a meeting of its leaders in Patna. Tyagi also insisted that he never sought Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s intervention to defuse the crisis in the Grand Alliance and only welcomed such a suggestion reportedly made by a Congress leader in Bihar.
Meanwhile, Lalu rubbished reports that Congress President Sonia Gandhi had called him up to mediate with Nitish over the Tejashwi issue. “There has been no conversation between Sonia Gandhi and me on this issue. I totally reject this,” he said tonight. He, however, said he could say whether Gandhi had talked to Nitish on this.
A section of the media reported that Tejashwi had made up his mind to tender resignation and the decision to this effect could be announced after the return of Lalu Prasad tomorrow from Ranchi, where he had gone for appearances in courts in fodder scam-related cases.
However, Tejashwi, in a tweet, ridiculed these reports.
“Some media in the name of ‘utpati (destructive) sources’ is running one-point programme of the BJP…I feel like laughing at it loudly (sic),” he said.

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