On Lalu Yadav Raids, Nitish Kumar's Curiously Low-Key Response

Nitish Kumar's response holds significance as it comes after his recent meeting with RJD leader and Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi over the caste-census issue - a geniality which is, some RJD leaders claim, making the BJP uncomfortable.

"We don't know anything about this," said Nitish Kumar on the raids.

Patna:

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) boss Nitish Kumar today refused to join his alliance partner BJP in their endorsement of the CBI raids on RJD chief Lalu Yadav and had a very restrained "we don't know anything about this" response to the subject.

"We don't know anything about this. Who are doing this (raids) can answer this question," he said when asked if the raids were a result of political vendetta.

Nitish Kumar's response holds significance as it comes after his recent meeting with RJD leader and Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi over the caste-census issue - a geniality which is, some RJD leaders claim, making the BJP uncomfortable.

In the Nitish Kumar-led ruling coalition, the BJP is a senior partner as it won far more seats than the JD(U) in the 2020 Bihar elections. The Chief Minister, however, is reportedly unhappy with ties with his alliance partner.

Most of the leaders from his party have refrained from commenting on the crackdown on the Yadav family, apparently on the orders of their boss, Mr Kumar, who is said to be not very pleased with the timing of the raids.

Earlier however, Bihar Minister and senior JDU leader Ashok Chaudhay said "it's wrong to link the raids with the caste-based census. The case is based on its own merit."

The RJD or Rashtriya Janata Dal have called the CBI case against its chief and his family members "predictable" and alleged that the BJP uses probe agencies to scare its rivals whenever its hold on power is shaken.

Lalu Yadav and his family members were charged in a fresh corruption case on Friday over alleged irregularities in recruitment between 2004 and 2009 when he was Railways Minister, just weeks after he was granted bail in a fodder scam case.

The CBI case, RJD's Manoj Kumar Jha alleged, was like a "dead bird" which has been given a new life as Tejashwi Yadav has been working to rally masses over real issues such as unemployment and caste census.

Following the FIR against Mr Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, daughter Misa and other family members, the CBI started a search operation on Friday morning at 16 locations in Delhi, Patna and Gopalganj.

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