The main leaders behind this political vendetta are Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. They have always feared my father, but it seems like they are scared of me too. Right from the beginning, they have tried to break the 'mahagathbandhan', and accused us in all possible ways. Not just us, they are always ready to malign Bihar for all possible crimes. This was Lalu Yadav’s son and Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav’s response to the CBI charges against him.
A day after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked him to come clean, RJD leader and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday dubbed the corruption charges against him a “conspiracy” hatched by the BJP brass.
Tejashwi Yadav, facing an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), also made light of the allegations against him, saying they relate to a period when he was 14 years old.
As for the ruling Grand Alliance of the JD-U, RJD and Congress, he declared that it was intact and would remain so.
After attending his first cabinet meeting since the CBI raids against him, Tejashwi Yadav, the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, said the corruption allegations against him were a pack of lies.
They were a conspiracy hatched by BJP president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he told the media.
He said he too strongly believed in zero tolerance vis-a-vis corruption. He added he would go to the people to explain how and why the BJP had conspired against him.
“This allegation relates to 2004 when I was merely 14 years old, when my moustache and beard had not begun to sprout. Do you think a minor would have committed a scam?”
Tejashwi Yadav said the Grand Alliance won’t break. “Some people including a section of the media are disappointed that there is no break up in the alliance.”
He said that since he became the Deputy Chief Minister, there had been no corruption allegations against him.
“Earlier the BJP was afraid of Laluji but now they are afraid of me, a 28-year-old man.”
Tejashwi Yadav’s statement came a day after Nitish Kumar asked the RJD to come with a detailed rebuttal of the charges against the RJD leader in connection with benami property.
The RJD, which has 80 legislators, is adamant that Tejashwi Yadav will not resign.
JD-U spokesperson Ajay Alok said on Wednesday: “After an FIR is filed, one has to reply to the court and the public. Running the Mahagathbandhan is the responsibility of everyone.”
Nitish Kumar has said he won’t compromise on the issue of corruption.
Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and their son Tejashwi Yadav have been named accused in a CBI case related to the transfer of three acres of prime land in Patna to the family by two businessmen allegedly in return for licences granted to run IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister.
“Mere upar lage aarop jhuthe hain. Yeh aarop nahi, yeh sajish hai BJP ka,” Tejashwi told the media after attending a Bihar cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here. With this statement, Tejashwi has made it clear that he will not resign.
Tejashwi also said he strongly believes in zero tolerance for corruption.
Yadav said he will go to the people to explain how and why the BJP, led by Shah and Modi, has conspired against him. “Kya 14 saal ka bachcha ghotala kar sakta ya karega? Us samay mere darhi ya much bhi nahi nikla tha,” he said.
According to sources in the RJD, after Lalu Prasad returned from Ranchi on Tuesday, an emergency meeting of senior RJD leaders including ministers and MLAs was held late in the night at his official 10, Circular Road residence, in which it was decided that Tejashwi will not resign. “In view of the JD-U’s stand, we have decided that Tejashwi will not step down,” another RJD leader said.
On Tuesday, the JD-U made it clear that it will not compromise with corruption and crime
Nitish Kumar said his government will do its own work and the law will do its own. “Main apne sidhanto se samjhauta nahi karunga, main corruption ke khilaf zero tolerance par kayam hun (I will not compromise with my principles of zero tolerance against corruption),” Nitish Kumar told his party leaders and workers at his official residence in Patna. (IANS)