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.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)