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Bihar political crisis: RJD backs Lalu Prasad Yadav and family, says deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav won't resign

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar on Monday came out in support of their leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family after the CBI raids at the former Bihar chief minister's homes on Friday. The RJD leaders met on Monday to discuss various issues and in a press conference held later decided that Lalu's son and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav will not resign despite the corruption charges levelled against him

"We are being hounded by the BJP and the RSS for exposing the central government's failures. But we will not be cowed down. We will continue to fight BJP and RSS," said senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui.

One of the many issues that were on agenda at the RJD meet on Monday was to counter Opposition's call to sack Tejashwi from the Cabinet. Several MLAs supported Lalu and his family. A report in India Today quoted RJD MLA Arun Yadav who said that Tejashwi should continue as deputy chief minister and even projected him as the next Chief Minister of Bihar.

Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav. IBNKhabar

Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav. IBNKhabar

"There is no need for Tejashwi Yadav to resign. He is the next Chief Minister of Bihar. CBI raids have been conducted to demoralise Lalu Yadav... manner in which freedom fighters gave a call of Quit Indian to Britishers, similarly we are also giving a call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to quit India", said Arun Yadav.

Another MLA Lalit Yadav also supported Tejashwi and appealed to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar not to sack him. He asked, "Why is Uma Bharti continuing in PM Modi's cabinet despite being chargesheeted in the Ayodhya case. We want Nitish Kumar not to sack Tejashwi Yadav". RJD leaders also added that Nitish should not act in haste and rather wait for a formal charge against Tejashwi.

Meanwhile, a report in NDTV quoted sources close to Nitish and said that the Bihar chief minister was not too happy with Tejashwi's decision to not step down as the deputy chief minister. The source further told NDTV that it was the prerogative of the chief minister  to remove or keep a minister in the Cabinet. Congress apparently has backed Nitish on this, the report added.

Nitish will meet with JD(U) legislators on Tuesday amid reports of strained ties in the Bihar grand alliance. The meetings are expected to end speculation on the future of the Bihar alliance and shed some light on JD(U)'s formal stand on the issue.

So far, Nitish and his party have maintained a stoic silence on the issue. After Friday's CBI raids, BJP raised the pitch to sack Tejashwi, who is also under the CBI scanner.

Nitish cancelled a public interface event and the subsequent press conference lined up on Monday, citing health reasons, however the move has triggered speculation that he is avoiding the media on the alleged strained ties within the Mahagathbandhan.

However, various media reports suggested that the JD(U) has been scrambling to put together a strategy to push back to the Opposition's mounting pressure. The ideal solution in this case would be if Tejashwi himself offers to resign on moral grounds, JD(U) sources reportedly said, The Indian Express article reported.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 13:05 PM

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