Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav today betrayed vexation over queries from journalists about the recent spat between leaders of his RJD and his boss Nitish Kumar's JD(U).
The young leader used the analogy of media houses to underscore that foot soldiers fell in line with their leaders and not the other way round.
"You tell me, in your organisations, do the editors decide what line to take or do the reporters tell the editors what to do?" the RJD leader said quizzically, rankled by queries from reporters.
The RJD and the JD(U), former rivals which became allies less than six months ago, appear to be on a collision course.
The trigger has been controversial remarks about "Ramcharitmanas" made by the state's Education minister Chandra Shekhar, an RJD leader. Some leaders of the JD(U) have been wary of the BJP exploiting the issue to its own advantage and in favour of action against the minister, by his party, by way of damage control. Those in the RJD have not taken kindly to the suggestion from the coalition partner.
Mr Yadav reiterated that there was a good understanding between his father Lalu Prasad, the RJD president, and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the JD(U) supremo, both of whom were "sheersh neta" (top leaders) of the 'Mahagathbandhan' and, hence, it did not matter what others in either party said.
However, when asked to say, unequivocally, as to whether he was supportive or critical of the minister's utterances, Yadav flinched.
"The Constitution calls for equal respect to all religions. For us, the Constitution is like a holy book. But debating on such issues will be of no help in solving problems like poverty, unemployment, which is the job of the government", said the Deputy Chief Minister.
Asserting that there was no rift between RJD and JD(U), Mr Yadav, however, alleged that there was a "well planned conspiracy" (sochi samjhi sazish) by BJP to foment troubles in Mahagathbandhan.
"The BJP did try to do another Maharashtra here a few months back. It learnt the hard way that this is Bihar," Mr Yadav quipped, referring to the upheaval of August last year when the Chief Minister dumped the saffron party, stripping it of power, following accusations that there had been attempts to engineer a split in the JD(U).
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)