JD(U) today dubbed Tuesday’s meeting between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav as “routine,” reiterating that the deputy chief minister should clear all accusations against him on the basis of facts in the public domain. The JD(U) sought to dispel the notion that the impasse in the Grand Alliance government, cropping up after the lodging of an FIR by the CBI against Tejashwi Yadav allegedly for amassing huge wealth has ended following the nearly 45-minute meeting between Kumar and Yadav after the Cabinet meeting yesterday. Yadav is an accused in the land-for-hotels case, allegedly involving the members of his father Lalu Prasad’s family.
“It was a routine meeting of a Cabinet colleague with the CM over some governmental matters and not a political one … Our stand remains the same that those facing accusations should reply to them in the public domain,” JD(U) spokesman Ajay Alok said, attaching no political significance to the yesterday’s meeting. Another JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad termed the meeting as “normal” in connection with governmental works. The RJD, however, rated high the meeting between Kumar and Yadav. “There is no matbhed (difference in opinion) between us. Grand Alliance is strong,” RJD leader and minister Vijay Prakash said.
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His elder brother and RJD MP Jay Prakash Yadav claimed “Everything is fine.” Former RJD minister Shivanand Tiwari, who is in constant touch with RJD president Lalu Prasad, said “after the talks, the situation arising out of lack of dialogue has ended and the vehicle is now back on track.” The meeting between the two leaders took place yesterday away from the media glare. Mediapersons were barred entry into the secretariat, the venue of the Cabinet meeting, following a scuffle between Tejashwi Yadav and his minister Tej Pratap Yadav’s securitymen and mediamen after the last one on Wednesday.
The press briefing by the Cabinet Coordination Department Secretary Brajesh Mehrotra too was shifted to the Public Relations Department office some distance away instead of at the secretariat as in the past. The BJP and NDA leaders appeared unimpressed over the meeting and attacked Kumar for not taking a call on Yadav. Senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav urged Kumar to break his silence on Tejashwi Yadav. JD(U) has sought “point-by-point” clarification from Tejashwi Yadav over the accusations against him. “A closed door meeting between the chief minister and deputy chief minister is not the proper answer to it,” he told PTI. Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi described the goings on in the Grand Alliance as “noora kushti” (friendly fight) to keep hanging to the power.”