I Will Not Quit, Declares Tejashwi
Patna: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has ruled out the possibility of he quitting the Nitish Kumar Government, even as pressure is mounting on him from the main Opposition in the State, Bharatiya Janata Party, and ruling JD (U), which has asserted that there will be “zero tolerance” against corruption.
“When the sale of railway hotels took place, I was just 13 or 14 years. I did not even have a moustache. How can a child of that age do all this,” Tejashwi asked on Wednesday, referring to the CBI charges of corruption against him in the land-for-hotel case.
(2004 mein humari moochein bhi nahi aayi thi. 13-14 saal ka baccha ye sab kaise kar sakta hai?)
Tejashwi’s father and RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav too is on record saying: “Tejashwi was a minor… cricket player when the hotel deal was finalised. These are baseless allegations.”
The Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, along with his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav, had earlier attended the Cabinet meeting called by Nitish Kumar on Wednesday. Speaking to media later, Tejashwi asserted that he too had pledged zero tolerance against corruption when he took over as the Deputy Chief Minister and not a single case of corruption had been reported in any of the departments he held. More: Nitish Issues Ultimatum To RJD, Asks It To Decide on Tejashwi’s Resignation Within Four Days
On the lines of his father, Tejashwi remarked: “FIR against me is political vendetta. A conspiracy hatched by (BJP President) Amit Shah and PM (Narendra) Modi. From Day One, they have been trying to break our alliance. But Mahagathbandhan will not break and BJP will get a befitting reply,” he declared.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Tuesday issued an ultimatum to Lalu Yadav to decide on the resignation of Tejashwi within 4 days, or let him (the Deputy Chief Minister) give an explanation regarding the benami properties issue, over which an FIR has been registered against him.
It may be recalled that the RJD chief has already made it clear that his son will not step down as the Bihar Deputy Chief Minister. He too has described the CBI raids as part of a conspiracy hatched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah to “finish off him and his party RJD”.Referring to he being named by the CBI in the land-for-hotel case, a defiant Tejashwi declared: “First, they feared my father (Lalu); now they are nervous about me also and therefore they are targeting me.” He felt the good work he has been doing has made BJP nervous and, hence, he has become that party’s target.
Amidst the twists and turns in Bihar, there are sections that believe Nitish Kumar is using the Tejashwi card to try and gain an upper hand over Lalu, on whom he is dependent for support and survival of his government. More: Is Bihar Political Scenario Approaching A Flashpoint?
To be in tune with possible developments, the BJP has already offered support to the Chief Minister, though “from outside”.