Patna: Giving shape to rumors of a rift between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal (United) ((JD(U)), Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav did not attend a 'Vishwa Yuva Kaushal Divas' event on Saturday as his nameplate was covered and later removed.
The name of the deputy chief minister was, however, mentioned in the invitation of the event.
The event was attended by JD(U) supremo and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Earlier on Saturday, the JD(U) said party leader Nitish Kumar has not demanded the resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, who has been named in a First Information Report (FIR).
The JD(U), however, demanded that Tejashwi should come out 'clean'.
With regards to reports of an apparent rift in the RJD-JD(U) 'mahagathbandhan' or grand alliance, JD(U) leader KC Tyagi re-iterated Lalu's stance on it, and said nothing will be done to harm their 'baby'.
"The JD(U) and Nitish Kumar are the last people who will do anything to tamper with the mahagathbandhan. It is our baby, which was initiated by Nitish Kumar. There is no question at all of ending it," he said.
Speaking exclusively to ANI, Lalu Yadav had earlier stated that the grand alliance in Bihar is an unbreakable bond, adding that the RJD will not let the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) break the alliance between the JD(U), Congress and the RJD.
It is being said that after the JD(U) urged Tejashwi Yadav to come out clean on the corruption charges imposed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and asked Lalu Yadav to declare his assets and reveal the source of income, the rift between the alliance partners in the state seemed to have widened, indicating that the alliance is inching towards a split.
Earlier last week, the CBI registered a corruption case against Lalu Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejaswi; former Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Managing Director PK Goyal; and the wife of Lalu Yadav'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.
However, Lalu on Friday said that his son Tejashwi Yadav, who is facing corruption charges, will not resign as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister.
"The Vidhan Mandal of our party has taken a decision that Tejashwi Yadav will not resign," Lalu told ANI in an exclusive conversation.
"An FIR is not sufficient reason for the resignation," he added.
This assertion from the RJD chief thus brought an end to speculations that Tejaswi Yadav might step down from the post to save the ruling alliance....