- Won't quit over corruption charges, Tejashwi Yadav told reporters
- Nitish Kumar yesterday hinted that he wants him to quit government
- Bihar alliance is intact, Lalu Yadav's son said today
Yesterday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar gave ample hints that he expects his ally Lalu Yadav's RJD to deliver the resignation of Tejashwi over corruption charges.
That is not happening, said a defiant Tejashwi, whose security men clashed with journalists after the cabinet meeting. He insisted that the alliance remains "unbreakable" even if "some people including a section of the media are disappointed".
Tejashwi attended the meeting along with his older brother and cabinet colleague Tej Pratap.
"When we got power, when I became a minister, I did nothing wrong. But when I was 13-14, was I a criminal then? I didn't have a post. I didn't even have a moonchh then. I was a child," Tejashwi told reporters, laboring the point that he was too young to be an accused in the case being investigated by the CBI. Echoing his father, he said the charges against him were part of a political conspiracy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
This was the 28-year-old's first meeting with Nitish Kumar since the Yadav family was raided last week by the CBI over charges that as Railways Minister, Lalu Yadav exploited his position to acquire three acres of land in Patna at dream rates. Tejashwi is also one of the owners of the land, where a mall is being built.
CBI sources say Tejashwi was made an accused in the case "not because of what his father did as minister, but because he, along with his mother, took over a company that owned the land in 2014, when he was 24".
Lalu Yadav's "political vendetta" charge has not been endorsed by Nitish Kumar.
Yesterday, after a four-hour meeting of his party Janata Dal United, Mr Kumar signaled that the only way his alliance with Mr Yadav and the Congress, formed in 2015, would survive was for Tejashwi to resign.
"I shall not compromise with my principles. I am firm on my resolve of zero tolerance against corruption," the Chief Minister told his party at his home in Patna.