Patna: In a first major sign of a split within the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), a senior member of the party and five times MLA from Gaighat constituency, Maheshwar Yadav, has come out in the open to protest against Lalu Prasad Yadav.
He told reporters on Thursday that “the split occurred due to Lalu Yadav’s love for his son. Nitish Kumar never backstabbed anyone; he met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and also gave enough hints but Lalu Yadav’s ego forced Nitish Kumar to leave the alliance and join hands with the BJP”.
Maheshwar said that “a large number of MLAs wanted Tejaswi Yadav to quit but they couldn’t muster up the courage to speak in front of Lalu Yadav. If only Tejashwi Yadav had resigned immediately after the raids were conducted then he would have become a bigger leader”.
Nitish Kumar had resigned as the chief minister of Bihar on Wednesday, claiming that corruption charges against Lalu and Tejaswi were the main reasons behind his decision to leave Grand Secular Alliance in the state.
Differences in reaction to Kumar's decision have also been witnessed in his party, JD(U). Earlier, JD(U) MP Ali Anwar had registered his protest against Nitish’s decision to form the government with BJP.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Anwar had said that, “Nitish Kumar took a decision by listening to his inner voice, But my conscience doesn’t allow me to support his decision”.
His statement was opposed by senior members in the JD(U). According to senior JD(U) leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh, “Today Ali Anwar’s conscience is not allowing him to support Nitish Kumar’s decision but he must also remember that he became Rajya Sabha MP on BJP votes”.
If RJD sources are to be believed, as many as 16 JD(U) MLAs have opposed Nitish Kumar’s move to form a government with BJP in Bihar. They hinted that top RJD leaders are trying to gain the support of 5 Muslim and 11 Yadav MLAs from the JD(U) on secular lines.
Hours after submitting his resignation to Bihar Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, Nitish joined hands with the BJP and was sworn in as the chief minister for the sixth time. A floor test in Bihar Assembly is scheduled to be held on Friday as Nitish Kumar has been asked by Tripathi to prove majority in the House within two days.
The special session is likely to be stormy, considering the mood displayed by former deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav, who said that his party RJD has not been a given a chance to form the government despite being the largest party in the Assembly.
Nitish has the support of 132 MLAs, including 71 from his party, 53 from BJP, 2 MLAs each from RLSP and LJP, 1 from HAM and 3 Independents.
Meanwhile, Tejaswi told reporters in Patna that RJD has the support of 27 Congress MLAs, 2 legislators of CPI(ML) and several independents. He also said that a large number of JD(U) legislators were also planning to support the Grand Secular Alliance.
“We deserve a chance to prove majority on the floor of the house, we have enough support to form a government in Bihar. Some of JD (U) MLAs also want to support the grand secular alliance”, Former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav said.