Patna/ New Delhi: The ruling alliance of Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar is on the verge of collapse according to political observers. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to stick to his stand of supporting the NDA candidate in the Presidential election while RJD Chief Lalu Yadav will insist on staying in the opposition camp. Both leaders are facing a lot of strain over the action against Lalu’s son and other family members.
Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav are seen setting conditions for each other that are impossible to meet. The leaders are claiming on record that they will not break the alliance and stay together, however insiders say that a breakdown is imminent.
Yadav on Wednesday spoke to the reporters, referring to the provenance of the alleged corruption. He stressed, “This alliance will not break.” That may turn out to be wishful thinking. On Tuesday, Nitish Kumar addressed a large meeting of delegates from his party and reiterated his ‘zero-tolerance to corruption’ while also flailing the defence offered by the Yadav family for the charges against them.
Top leaders of Lalu’s party met on Tuesday with the 71-year-old and doubled down on the agreement that Tejashwi Yadav must not quit since there is no credible evidence against him.
They also said Nitish Kumar’s requirement of the Yadavs issuing a detailed rejoinder to the charges against them is impractical and offensive. Comparing the chief minister’s calling of a point-by-point explanation of the charges filed by the CBI to a ‘kangaroo court’, Lalu Yadav’s supporters, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “It would be like a pretended public hearing where you know it’s just a formality for you to be heard before you are beaten to death.”
Nitish Kumar is unlikely to be moved by that analogy. He has made it clear that to make things right, the Yadavs are obliged to yank Tejashwi from the government, sparing the Chief Minister the task of removing him.
Last Friday, the CBI raided the Patna home and other properties of the Yadavs while accusing father and son of conspiring to acquire three acres of land (now worth more than Rs 90 crore) at a cost of Rs 65 lakh. The CBI says the deal was delivered by a private firm which Lalu Yadav obliged with lucrative contracts to run hotels owned by the Indian Railways when he was Railways Minister. The land, now officially owned by Tejashwi Yadav, his siblings and mother, was being used to construct Bihar’s largest mall till the Central government recently suspended its development.