RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday extended an olive branch to Chirag Paswan, urging the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader to reconsider its alliance with the National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP which he said swears by the RSS ideology instead of the Constitution.
The Leader of the Opposition also accused the ruling JD(U) in Bihar of being the “mastermind” behind the split in the LJP, which has left Chirag Paswan cornered within the party that was being headed by him till recently and founded by his father Ram Vilas Paswan.
Mr Yadav, who was talking to reporters at the Patna airport upon his return from Delhi, also sought to remind Chirag Paswan that in 2005 and 2010 similar splits were engineered by the JD(U) in the LJP while his father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad had “helped Ram Vilas Paswan get a Rajya Sabha berth after he lost his own Lok Sabha seat”.
“Chirag Paswan must now decide whom he wants to stand with – those abiding by the Bunch of Thoughts (the famous work by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar) or those for whom the Constitution drafted by BR Ambedkar is supreme”, said Mr Yadav.
When pointed out that the JD(U), controlled by its leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, claimed that it knew “nothing” about the crisis in the LJP which witnessed a revolt led by Chirag Paswan’s uncle and former state minister Pashupati Kumar Paras, Mr Yadav responded mordantly.
“Nitish Kumar never knows anything. Perhaps, he does not even read the papers. He must be unaware that in 27 out of 38 districts of Bihar, the price of petrol has crossed Rs 100 per litre”, Mr Yadav remarked.
When asked about the ruling party’s criticism of his protracted absence from Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav, who led the RJD to an impressive performance in the last assembly polls, asserted that he had been away to look after his ailing father.
“The ruling dispensation must be aware that I am a beta (son) along with being a neta (leader). Moreover, what would I have been able to do for the people here when even those in power had been forbidden from venturing out”, Mr Yadav said, in an oblique reference to a circular issued by the state cabinet secretariat that asked ministers to refrain from undertaking tours during the Covid-induced lockdown.
He also said doctors attending to his father, one of the most keenly-watched politicians of the state, have hinted that he might be able to come to Patna “very soon”.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, convicted in cases related to the fodder scam, has been staying in the national capital upon his release from jail on bail granted by the Jharkhand High Court.