Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi today claimed that Lalu Yadav, the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, had offered to pull down his own government, which he formed in alliance with Nitish Kumar's JDU and the Congress, and install a BJP dispensation in its place. In return, the leader alleged, Mr Yadav wanted to dilute corruption cases against him.
Lalu Yadav approached Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with the message through his emissary-- former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta-- and also met him, Mr Modi said at a press conference today.
Nitish Kumar's JDU, RJD and the Congress defeated the BJP in 2015 Bihar assembly election and formed a government. However, after allegations of corruption emerged against the Yadav family, he dumped Mr Yadav's party in 2017 and formed a government with support from the BJP.
Sushil Modi said that Mr Jaitley had curtly told them that the CBI was an autonomous agency in whose functioning the government did not interfere, news agency PTI reported.
"We think the chief minister (Nitish Kumar) too must have got a whiff of these shenanigans. Moreover, after they together won the assembly polls in 2015 and RJD emerged as the largest party, Lalu and his cohorts never lost an opportunity to remind the JDU leader that he owed his position to them," he was quoted by news agency PTI.
The allegation comes weeks after RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said that Lalu Yadav in his upcoming book "Gopalganj to Raisina" has mentioned that Nitish Kumar made many attempts to get back and ally with the party.
Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Yadav's son and political heir, rejected the allegation.
"His allegations that we sought help from the BJP at any point of time show his mental bankruptcy and worry of an impending defeat in the elections. The entire country knows that it was Lalu who had stopped (LK) Advanis Ayodhya Rath Yatra and has always valiantly fought their communal agenda," he tweeted.
Lalu Yadav was held guilty of a multi-million-rupee scam involving the embezzlement of government funds meant for cattle fodder in the 1990s when he was chief minister of undivided Bihar. He has been convicted in 4 cases related to the scam and has been sent to 14 years in jail.
Mr Modi's allegation has been in public domain since 2017. Mr Yadav had said it was just a courtesy visit.
BJP sources have told NDTV that Mr Yadav's allegation was creating confusion in the BJP and JDU workers, which led to today's attack.
Lalu Yadav's wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi last week claimed that poll strategist Prashant Kishor had met her husband Lalu Yadav with the proposal that Lalu Yadav's RJD and Nitish Kumar's JDU merge together and the new entity thus formed declare its "prime ministerial candidate" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
With inputs from PTI