Tejaswi Yadav, who was sitting inside his vehicle outside his home, said that there is no house arrest order against him and lockdown is only for MLAs while criminals are allowed to move freely.
High drama unfolded outside Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav’s residence in Patna on Friday morning after he along with his supporters made attempts to go out to meet the kin of victims in the Gopalganj triple murder case. The sensational case has put the Nitish Kumar government on the backfoot, providing Tejashwi an opportunity to step up his attack on the ruling dispensation just a few months ahead of the scheduled Bihar assembly elections.
Tejashwi was stopped by the police from violating lockdown while scores of supporters stood outside his residence here, in violation of social distancing norms. The leader of opposition in a video message charged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of shielding a JD(U) MLA who has been named in a triple murder case and demanded his immediate arrest.
Tejaswi, who was sitting inside his vehicle outside his home, said that there is no house arrest order against him and lockdown is only for MLAs while criminals are allowed to move freely. He accused the government of inhuman behaviour towards migrant workers while providing shield to criminals.
“We want poor victims to get justice, this is our duty but we are being stopped. Our MLAs and committees are being stopped but criminals are allowed to roam freely and open fire,” he said.
“This government is trying to shield the criminals. The way the government has deployed police officials near my residence, had it deployed the force to arrest its MLA and criminals, the situation of Bihar would have been something else,” he said.
“When the law and order situation deteriorates, it is our responsibility to provide them justice,” Tejashwi, whom the RJD has projected as the chief ministerial face of the grand alliance, said.
The opposition is demanding action against JD(U) MLA Amrendra Kumar Pandey alias Pappu Pandey for his alleged involvement in the firing in which three people were killed in Gopalganj. An RJD worker also sustained injuries in the incident.
Earlier on Thursday,Tejashwi had announced that he will travel to Gopalganj to meet the kin of victims. On Tuesday, Tejashwi had set a two-day deadline for the Nitish Kumar government for taking action in the case, failing which he had said that a march will be taken out from Patna to Gopalganj.
Pappu Pandey represents the Kuchaikote assembly segment in Gopalganj district and is believed to be close to Nitish Kumar. Pandey’s brother and nephew have been arrested but the MLA is untraceable.
Pandey has been named in an FIR lodged in connection with the attack that took place on Sunday night. The incident took place at the residence of Gopalganj RJD leader JP Yadav. The opposition party leader suffered serious injuries while his parents and a brother were killed.
The incident gave ammunition to Tejaswi to target the Nitish government already facing a barrage of criticism over its handling of the migrants crisis in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The RJD leader stepped up the offensive and met Governor Fagu Chauhan to submit a memorandum to draw his attention towards the killings. He submitted that the killings indicated the collapse of the law and order situation in the state.
However, RJD leader’s anguish over the crime involved a lower rank leader of his party’s left alliance partner RLSP amused. JP Yadav had switched over from the CPI(ML) to the RJD just a few months ago.
RLSP national general secretary and chief spokesman Madhaw Anand said the party expects Tejashwi to be most consistent in his sense of outrage. He said that the RJD leader should show a big heart. It wants a giant leap in politics.
“There have been so many instances of violence, which he has refused to take note of simply because the accused happened to be from his Yadav clan while the victims were upper caste Bhumihars. Tejashwi Yadav needs to show a big heart if he wants to make it big in politics,” he said.
The grand alliance constituents have on several occasions snubbed Tejaswhi and openly refused to accept him as the opposition’s CM face or the upcoming Assembly elections. The leaders believe that Tejashwi was incapable of taking on NDA led by Nitish Kumar in the state in the absence of Lalu. The grand alliance in Bihar comprises five political parties — RJD, HAM, Congress, RLSP and VIP.