Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has denied the media reports that his security personnel manhandled the media persons on his instructions on Wednesday in Patna. While blaming media persons for initiating the scuffle and hitting the Health Minister, the Deputy CM defended his security personnel for protecting him and assured that the matter will be investigated.
“There are misleading information about attack on media persons, on request of them I patiently waited abt 5-7 mins so that they stop meddling with each other out of competition, however that was in vein. I totally understand know how difficult is their job, specially the cameramen. They were falling & competing with each other. Couple of media person were putting mike behind me & brushed my ears & head also. There were moments when around ten mikes were about to hit my nose, I saved myself & duty personals were protecting it while being on duty,” Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said in a Facebook post on early Thursday.
The incident of manhandling the media persons by the security personnel of Deputy CM occurred on Wednesday when Tejashvi Yadav emerged to address the media gathered to take his reactions after a Bihar cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar to discuss the corruption case against him. Showing his ignorance about the incident Tejashvi Yadav said, “Personally I wasn’t aware what’s happening other side, as was addressing the media and completely surrounded by media only”.
However, he blamed the media persons for initiating the scuffle and said, “Even a cameraman hardly hit the Health minister with his camera on head while boarding the car & it wasn’t reported at all, rather no need to as it happens out of rush. Many security guards had minor bruises. On such critical moments when hundreds of media surrounds & suddenly jumps for byte, it becomes bit difficult for us, media & security guards also”.
Terming the reports in a section of media that the whole incident occurred on his instructions the Deputy Chief Minister said, “There were reports on few channels stating that it happened on my instructions and few RJD supporters carried the assault which is totally undesirable, baseless & meaningless”. “We always have been friendly with media and respond to them. I regret & condemn any charge on media. Such incidents must not take place, I will personally look into the matter & get it investigated,” the Deputy CM further said.
The Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had called the meeting of all Janata Dal (United) MPs, MLAs and other office bearers and leaders of the state to discuss the political situation in the wake of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids on alliance partner Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family, including Tejashwi Yadav followed by demands of opposition parties in Bihar to remove Tejashwi Yadav from the post of Deputy CM. The JD(U) meeting concluded without any explicit demand for the resignation of Tejashwi, however citing several examples, party chief and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stressed on his commitment towards probity and accountability in governance and left the decision on the RJD.
According to sources, the JD (U) leadership has decided to give some time to its alliance partner to come clean over the charges using facts and not rhetoric and left the decision on the RJD to take action on Tejashwi. Since the meeting was very significant, the media was gathered to know about the decisions taken in the meeting and also to take Tejashvi’s reactions on the demand of his resignation. It was then, when Tejashwi’s security personnel allegedly manhandled media persons outside the Bihar Secretariat.
An ANI reporter, by the name of Rahul Singh, was amongst the media persons who were pushed aside. Meanwhile, holding the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) solely responsible for the corruption charges slapped against him, Tejashwi Yadav remained defiant about not succumbing to the pressure or resigning, citing that the charges were a part of a political vendetta against him and his family. Tejashwi further said he was not surprised when the saffron party had a problem with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and his father Lalu Prasad Yadav, but to fearing him, the 28-year-old, is beyond his imagination.
“The BJP is surprised to see a 28-year-old to not just rule the state, but also govern it efficiently. We will take an action against them. They don’t deserve a place here,” he said. Further denying the charges made against him, Tejashwi said that the charges date back to 2004-2006, when he was a 14-year-old and a teenage couln’t be committing crimes.
Earlier last week, the CBI registered a corruption case against Lalu Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi Yadav; former Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Managing Director P.K. Goyal; and the wife of Lalu’s confidante Prem Chand Gupta, Sujata on allegations of awarding the tender for development, maintenance and operation of hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006. The CBI later questioned Rabri Devi and Tejashwi.
The case was registered on the allegations of awarding the tender for development, maintenance and operation of Hotels at Ranchi and Puri to a Private Company dealing with Hotels in the year 2006. The investigative agency also conducted searches at 12 locations across Patna, Delhi, Gurugram and other places.The RJD supremo, however, refuted the allegations against him and called it a political conspiracy hatched by the BJP.