I Will Not Quit, Declares Tejashwi

Strong arguments, both pro and anti, are going on over the fate of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister. How the issue will play and for how long remains to be seen.

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”.

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Attack on Journalists In Bihar: Tejashwi Defends His Security Personnel

This is what Bihar Deputy Minister says: “poor policemen too have self-respect and they can’t sit idle when they are under attack” (sic). Videos available clearly show who started the attack.

Patna: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has on Thursday chosen to defend his security personnel despite their manhandling of media representatives the previous day, which has added to the tumult in Bihar politics over the past week.

This is what he said on his Facebook post: “They (journalists) were falling and competing with each other (to get sound bites). A couple of media persons were putting (their) mike(s) behind me and (which) brushed my ears and head. There were moments when around 10 mikes were about to hit my nose. I saved myself and the security men were only doing their duty and protecting me.”

 More: Media Representatives Attacked In Patna Secretariat

According to those present at the scene, journalists were thrashed by Tejashwi’s security staff when they tried to question him about the corruption charges levelled against him. When some of the journalists tried to mediate with the security men to ease the situation, they also got hit. The video of the incident has gone viral and the high-handedness of Tejashwi’s personal security personnel has been condemned by all other political parties.

The Deputy Chief Minister sought to condemn charges that he had instructed the security staff to attack journalists. “Reports on a few channels that the incident occurred on my instructions, and few RJD supporters carried out the assault, are totally baseless,” he stated.

While Opposition parties have criticised Tejashwi for the incident, he also posted a few other video clips on his Facebook page and Twitter handle, wherein he said “poor policemen too have self-respect and they can’t sit idle when they are under attack”.

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Media Representatives Attacked In Patna Secretariat

Several among the media wanting to grill Tejashwi on the fast developing political situation in Bihar were beaten up by his personal staff when one of them asked him an awkward question.

Patna: Situation in Bihar turned ugly on Wednesday when media personnel, including newspaper and television personnel, were on Wednesday attacked by supporters of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, further complicating the ongoing political turbulence.

The attack was within the presence of Tejashwi Yadav and followed an awkward question on the prevailing crisis in Bihar. Taking affront to such a query, personal staff of the Deputy Chief Minister started beating the media representatives indiscriminately.

The incident happened after Tejashwi attended the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and the media personnel were waiting eagerly to question him on the situation prevailing in Bihar and the ensuing political crisis.

Various newspaper and television organisations have expressed anger about the incident. They were also furious that though the incident took place in the presence of the Deputy Chief Minister, he did not intervene. “Is this is an example of the freedom media has in Bihar,” asked one of those hurt while nursing his injuries.

It may be recalled that the CBI had last week raided the residences of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members. The investigating agency has accused Lalu Yadav as well as his son Tejashwi and others of amassing wealth through wrongful means.

The ruling JD (U) on Tuesday gave an ultimatum to its coalition partner RJD to spell within four days what action it would take on the resignation of Tejashwi.

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  1. July 13, 2017

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