Former JD(U) MLA joins RJD, Tejashwi Yadav elated

2-time former MLA crosses over from JD(U) to RJD, Tejashwi Yadav elated

Yadav claimed many more leaders from the JD(U) and BJP were in touch with him but ducked queries about Manjit Singh

Yadav welcomed Singh into the RJD. Credit: PTI Photo

The opposition RJD in Bihar claimed to have received a shot in the arm on Saturday with the induction of Maheshwar Singh, a two-term former MLA who crossed over from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U).

Singh took the RJD's primary membership in presence of leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav and claimed he walked out of the NDA despite "a lot of pressure" and that scores of his supporters in East Champaran district were following suit through the virtual mode.

Welcoming Singh into the RJD, Yadav recalled his old association with the former who was the LJP's leader in the state assembly a decade ago when the party founded by late Ram Vilas Paswan had a truck with Lalu Prasad's outfit.

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Yadav claimed "many more" leaders from the JD(U) and the BJP were in touch with him but ducked queries about Manjit Singh, another former MLA in the chief ministers party, who had similarly met the RJD leader recently fuelling speculations of his changing sides, but backed down reportedly after receiving a call from Nitish Kumar.

Replying to queries from journalists, Yadav said "it is not just my assertion that this government is going to fall. It is the wish of the people of the state that we topple it.

"The reason is, the sentiment during the assembly elections was in favour of our Grand Alliance. The NDA got the majority inexplicably". RJD supremo Lalu Prasad address on July 5 on the party's 25th foundation day is expected to further charge up party leaders and workers.

Prasad will be delivering his speech virtually from the national capital. Yadav also charged the chief minister with having promoted "corruption in transfers and postings by giving a free hand to his chosen bureaucrats" and referred to the recent episode of social welfare minister Madan Sahani threatening to resign miffed over officials obstructing transfers and postings approved by the cabinet member.

"Nothing in Bihar moves without paying the 'RCP tax'," remarked Yadav, making an oblique reference to the chief ministers close aide and JD(U) national president RCP Singh.

When asked about the controversy over alleged attempts of land grabbing and extortion by a brother of Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Renu Devi, Yadav remarked sarcastically "all your sins get washed away if you join that party. No action can be taken against you thereafter".

The RJD leader was also asked about his recent offer of support to LJPs Chrag Paswan, who has been cornered in the party founded by his father and headed by him following a rebellion led by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras.

"Our sympathies are with Chirag. He has been wronged. The split in LJP has been obviously engineered by the JD(U).

"But he has to take a call whether he wants to remain with those believing in the Constitution or those swearing by Bunch of Thoughts", said Yadav, referring to a famous work of M S Golwalkar, one of the prime ideologues of BJPs parent body, the RSS.

When asked what would be his partys strategy in the upcoming monsoon session of the state assembly, the leader of the opposition said "we will have to discuss that. The last session saw unprecedented things happening, when honourable members were dragged out of the premises by the police and physically harmed and female legislators were treated in the most disgraceful manner".

The state cabinet has approved a proposal to call the monsoon session of the two houses of the Bihar legislature from July 26 to July 30.

During the budget session, members of the Grand Alliance which is helmed by RJD, had held the Speaker hostage in his chamber in a bid to prevent passing of a bill that aimed to give the police force more teeth.

The Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021 was later on passed by voice vote with the opposition staging a walkout.

"It is the same House on the floor of which Karpoori Thakur had staged a demonstration that continued late in the night. Never before, though, was police called inside", lamented Yadav. Thakur, a former Chief Minister and one of the tallest OBC leaders of his generation, had been a mentor to both Lalu Prasad who is Tejashwis father and Nitish Kumar.