‘Even RJD unaware of his whereabouts’: Nitish Kumar’s jibe at Tejashwi Yadav amid criticism over CM’s ’84-day isolation’

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has slammed Tejashwi Yadav for questioning his absence during Coronavirus-induced lockdown.

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Nitish Kumar mocks Tejashwi Yadav for questioning his 'absence' during Coronavirus lockdown. (File pic)

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has mocked leader of opposition Tejashwi Yadav for his remarks criticising the JD(U) national president for not stepping out of his residence during the lockdown period. In a hard-hitting response, Kumar said that he has been taking stock of the ground situation regularly and chided Yadav saying he doesn’t have any ‘thikana’ (whereabouts).

Kumar said this while referring to the RJD leader’s absence from mainstream politics in the state at crucial junctures. Yadav often faces flak from the ruling leaders for being projected as Lalu Prasad’s heir despite spending most of his time away from the state and active politics.

“I am not the one who makes comments. He (Tejashwi) says that I don’t come out. Lockdown is in force in the country… we are the ones who work for people. I am reviewing and doing analysis of work on a daily basis…. he is the one who is on the run and his own party members are unaware about his whereabouts,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

Kumar has been under sharp criticism from the Opposition for not stepping out of his official residence amid the coronavirus crisis. On Tuesday, he was spotted outside his house in Patna after nearly three months.

Kumar stays at the government bungalow on 1, Anne Marg in Patna. He visited the official secretariat ‘Samvad’ which is located 20 metres from his bungalow on Tuesday.

Tejashwi, who had served as Nitish Kumar’s deputy for the nearly two-year-long period during which the JD(U) and the RJD had shared power, on Tuesday said that JD(U) leader was the only CM to have not stepped out of his house for 84 days which was essential to take stock of the ground situation and instill confidence among the people.

“If you are scared of something, I am willing to accompany you. But, at least now, please step out. The people of the country are saying that the Bihar CM is a man stricken by fear. You abuse the state machinery by spending hours every day, video conferencing with your party colleagues, but you showed no concern about the common people,” he said.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, a strident critic of Tejashwi and his family, hit back with a series of tweets.

“Lalu Prasad should know upon the request of which Chief Minister 4,000 special trains were commissioned for ferrying home migrants struck during lockdown? Bihar alone accounted for 1,506 trains which served 21 lakh laborers,” he tweeted.

Sushil Kumar also called Lalu Prasad ‘a prisoner of the prejudices of his lantern age which rendered him incapable of understanding concepts like work from home and virtual interactions’.

“Laluism needs to be politically quarantined,” the deputy CM added.

He also sought to remind Lalu that he has been in jail for 1,095 days and that his political successor (Tejashwi) stayed away from a 33-day assembly session after the Lok Sabha polls last year and had been out of the state for 50 days during the lockdown.

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First published on: 10-06-2020 at 10:08 IST