Patna: “I will not resign my post,” a defiant Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejaswi said Wednesday, accusing the BJP of spearheading what he called “political vendetta” against him and his family.
Tejaswi faces corruption charges by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly accepting bribes for misallocation of IRCTC hotels when his father was the Railways Minister in UPA I.
He made a case for himself by stating that the anomalies date back to 2004-06 when he "was just 14 years old”. “How could a kid do all this?” he asked.
Tejaswi said he did not find it surprising that the saffron party had a problem with his father, but that it also feared him.
“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," he said, after a meeting held by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with all MPs and MLAs to discuss the political impact of CBI raids on alliance partner Lalu Yadav and family.
Reports in ANI quoted Tejaswi saying, "The BJP is surprised to see a 28-year-old govern Bihar and that too efficiently. We will take action against them. They don't deserve a place here."
Tejaswi further said their government in the state has always followed a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and hence, no one could point fingers at him.
"Since the day I joined office, I had made it clear that I would not tolerate corruption. During my reign as Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister, I have not done anything against the government and its functions. All three departments under my control have flourished and helped the state progress," he said.
Though they are maintaining a united front, there is trouble between the two alliance partners Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar over the CBI action.
After a meeting of all JD(U) MLAs Tuesday evening, JD(U) official spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said: “We hope the accused comes forward and provide evidence to the public to prove his innocence so that people can be assured these allegations are incorrect. It is their responsibility to provide proof." While JD(U) leaders were not immediately gunning for Tejaswi’s resignation, this remark hinted that it would be better if he steps down.
Kumar said the JD(U) understood the importance of an alliance and would work till the end with the RJD.
Earlier last week, the CBI registered a corruption case against Lalu Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejaswi Yadav; former Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Managing Director P K Goyal; and the wife of Lalu's confidante Prem Chand Gupta, Sujata on allegations of awarding the tender for development, maintenance and operation of hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006.
The CBI later questioned Rabri Devi and Tejaswi Yadav.
The case was registered on allegations that tenders for development, maintenance and operation of hotels in Ranchi and Puri were unfairly given to a private company in 2006.
The investigating agency also conducted searches at 12 places across Patna, Delhi, Gurugram and elsewhere.
The RJD supremo, however, refuted allegations against him and called it a political conspiracy hatched by the BJP....