After the cracks that have emerged in Bihar's grand alliance, it seems Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is deliberating on a scheme of telling all its ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, to resign from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's cabinet while continuing to support him from the outside.
Lalu's camp believes that it will keep the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) at bay and at the same time, the RJD can continue to enjoy powers from outside. This power play seems to be of utmost priority for the RJD in the current turbulent period when its party chief and his family members are embroiled in a number of corruption cases.
Taken aback by JD(U)'s mounting pressure, RJD is trying to save the ruling alliance by accusing the BJP of conspiring against the mahagathbandhan. Sensing that Nitish's praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi might usher in a political realignment, the RJD leaders have started warning the chief minister against going with the BJP.
But what transpired on Friday suggests that the JD(U) is in no mood to provide any reprieve to its embattled ally.
As demanded by the BJP, JD(U) asked Lalu to make public the source of properties owned by him and his family members. For the first time in the ongoing tussle between RJD and JD(U), the latter has referred to a BJP demand and enhanced its ambit by including all the members of the Lalu family.
JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar said, " Lalu and his family must come clean. They should give a point by point explanation of allegations against them, as has been demanded by the Opposition (BJP)."
Just days after Nitish reiterated his zero tolerance policy against corruption and asked those facing CBI investigation to come clean, his party has been pressing the RJD to take a call. JD(U)'s demands have been rejected by both Lalu and Tejashwi.
JD(U), it seems, is running out of time as a prolonged tussle will harm Nitish even more than it will affect Lalu. Interestingly, the Congress is trying to save the grand alliance. The party can persuade Lalu to tell his son Tejashwi to resign but the pragmatic Nitish has hinted more than enough that he wants to get rid of the RJD.
Tejashwi is only a pawn now. Nitish knows that taking RJD along, in any form, would harm his image of Mr Clean. Apparently, this is the reason JD(U) has changed strategy and decided to attack not only the deputy chief minister but other members of the Lalu family as well.
CBI has named Lalu, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi as accused in the case related to transfer of three acres of prime land in Patna in lieu of awarding contract of IRCTC run hotels to a private company.
Updated Date: Jul 14, 2017 18:26 PM