Once alliance partners, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U) were yet again locked in a war of words as chief minister Nitish Kumar referred to his former deputy Tejashwi Prasad Yadav as a “child”, prompting RJD chief Lalu Prasad to come to the defence of his younger son.
“Tejashwi bachcha nahi, unka chachha hai (Tejashwi is not a child but Nitish Kumar’s uncle),” Lalu said, rhyming the ‘bachcha’ barb against his younger son, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, with ‘chachha’.
The grand alliance in Bihar fell after Nitish Kumar broke the alliance to form a new government with the BJP. Tejashwi, who is currently being investigated for corruption, was removed as deputy CM.
“It is surprising that I am at the receiving end for both – the charge of appointing him deputy CM and his removal from the chair,” Kumar said while speaking to reporters after his weekly governance feedback programme, Lok Samvad.
“He is just a child. Sometimes, he speaks loudly and becomes personal. How can he get out of the shadow and the traits acquired from his father, despite his career being rocked by him? The entire family is passing through a phase of frustration,” Kumar said.
Along with Tejashwi, father Lalu Prasad, mother Rabri Devi and sister Misa Bharti are also being investigated in connection with a money laundering probe into the 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case.
Kumar’s comments come amid Tejashwi’s attacks against him, who Lalu Prasad has been positioning as a chief ministerial candidate for the next state election.
“Nitish will realise Tejashwi’s mettle in 2020 assembly polls. His existence on the ground will felt by him,” Lalu said, adding “he is already feeling the heat.”
In his remarks, Kumar said the RJD would go down from its current 80 assembly seats to its earlier 22 under Tejashwi’s leadership.