Nitish Kumar Puts Ball In Lalu Yadav’s Court, Hints Son Should Quit

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Nitish Kumar

PATNA:  Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has revealed today what he expects of ally Lalu Yadav and his son, Tejashwi Yadav, who is the No. 2 in his government. “Those facing corruption charges should face the public and come clean on the corruption charges. And we are confident it will happen,” said a spokesperson for the chief minister’s party after a lengthy meeting today.

Mr Kumar’s party the Janata Dal United or JDU has not asked Tejashwi Yadav to resign as Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister, but seemed to suggest that it would be apt. “We created a precedent by taking the resignations of our own ministers,” the spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said at a press briefing.

These are the first comments by the chief minister’s party since Lalu Yadav was raided by the CBI on Friday on allegations that he used his earlier post as union Railways Minister to help his family acquire three acres in Patna at dream prices. The land is owned in part by Tejashwi Yadav, 27.

As other opposition leaders backed Lalu Yadav in denouncing the case against him as political vendetta by the centre, Nitish kumar silence was deafening. He ordered JDU leaders to follow his example. The result was a heightened focus on whether the alliance that governs Bihar (the Congress is the third member) is skidding towards political insolvency.

That danger for Lalu Yadav may have been averted for now. “We know how to respect coalition dharma. We will follow it till our last breath. But we do hope that the charges will be countered among the public,” said Neeraj Kumar.

That danger for Lalu Yadav may have been averted for now. “We know how to respect coalition dharma. We will follow it till our last breath. But we do hope that the charges will be countered among the public,” said Neeraj Kumar.

His comments came after Nitish Kumar met with hundreds of delegates from the JDU including parliamentarians and state lawmakers to discuss the handling of a series of corruption cases that are blowing up for Lalu Yadav and his children. Yesterday, at a similar meeting, Lalu Yadav’s party announced that Tejashwi Yadav will not resign on the basis of the CBI charges against him. Lalu Yadav has said that the charges are fabricated and that in any case, when the alleged transgression took place, Tejashwi Yadav was a minor.

The fact that Nitish Kumar has not insisted yet on Tejashwi Yadav exiting the government, along with the fact that the JDU has decided today to support the opposition’s joint candidate for Vice President, allows the premise that the chief minister remains committed for now to the side that has collated against the BJP.

But Nitish Kumar would also like to maintain his reputation as an honest administrator untainted by corruption scandals during his 12 years in power as Bihar Chief Minister, and his support to the BJP’s nominee for President a few weeks ago was seen to signal a possible political realignment.

Read Source: NDTV

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