RJD leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday said the state's ruling Grand Alliance is intact and will remain so, after attending his first cabinet meeting since the CBI raids against him.
Tejashwi, the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, said allegations of corruption against him were lies and a conspiracy of the BJP led by Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Mere upar lage arop jhuthe hain. Yeh aarop nahi, yeh sajish hai BJP ka," Tejashwi told the media after attending a Bihar cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here. With this statement, Tejaswi has made it clear that he will not resign.
Tejaswi also said he strongly believes in zero tolerance for corruption.
Yadav said he will go to the people to explain how and why the BJP, led by Shah and Modi, has conspired against him. "This allegation is of 2004 when I was merely 14 years old, and my moustache and beard had not begun to sprout on my face. Do you think a minor like me would have committed a scam?"
"Kya 14 saal ka bachcha ghotala kar sakta ya karega? Us samay mere darhi ya much bhi nahi nikla tha," he said.
Tejashwi said: "Mahagathbandhan atut (intact) hai, rahega aur chalta rahega. Some people including a section of media are disappointed over no reports of a break up in the alliance."
The ruling Grand Alliance, comprising Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, is headed by Nitish Kumar.
Tejashwi said that since he became Deputy Chief Minister there have been no corruption allegations against him.
He said "Earlier the BJP was afraid of Laluji but now they are afraid of me, a 28-year-old man."
His statement to the media came a day after the JD-U, headed by Nitish Kumar, put pressure on Tejashwi, named accused in a CBI case in connection with benami property, to step down.
JD-U's major ally RJD, which has 80 legislators, is adamant that Tejashwi will not resign.
"After JD-U's stand, the RJD has decided that Tejashwi will not resign," RJD spokesperson Shakti Yadav said on Wednesday.
However, JD-U spokesperson Ajay Alok on Wednesday said: "FIR darj hone ke baad court aur janta dono ko jawab dena hota hai. Mahagathbandhan chalane ki jimmedari sabki hai (After an FIR is filed, one has to reply to the court and the public. Running the Mahagathbandhan is the responsibility of everyone)."
According to sources in the RJD, after Lalu Prasad returned from Ranchi on Tuesday, an emergency meeting of senior RJD leaders including ministers and MLAs was held late in the night at his official 10, Circular Road residence, in which it was decided that Tejashwi will not resign. "In view of the JD-U's stand, we have decided that Tejashwi will not step down," another RJD leader said.
On Tuesday, the JD-U made it clear that it will not compromise with corruption and crime
Nitish Kumar said his government will do its own work and the law will do its own.
"Main apne sidhanto se samjhauta nahi karunga, main corruption ke khilaf zero tolerance par kayam hun (I will not compromise with my principles of zero tolerance against corruption)," Nitish Kumar told his party leaders and workers at his official residence here.
Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi have been named as accused in a CBI case relating to transfer of three acres of prime land in Patna to the family by two businessmen allegedly in return for licences to run two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri when the RJD chief was Railways Minister.
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