JD(U) rejects speculation of ‘closeness’ with RJD

JD(U) State unit president Vashishtha Narayan Singh said that JD(U) is with the NDA and will remain so.

The ruling JD(U) in Bihar on Thursday rejected speculation stemming from the alleged ‘nazdeekiyan’ (closeness) witnessed in the Assembly premises in Patna over the last couple of days between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Opposition RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and said it is firmly with the NDA.

JD(U) State unit president Vashishtha Narayan Singh pointed at the ‘vishvaman’ (spewing of venom) by Mr. Yadav against the State government in his public statements when asked about his meeting with Mr. Kumar inside his Vidhan Sabha premises chamber on Tuesday.

Pictures of Mr. Kumar and Mr. Yadav having tea with Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary after the day’s proceedings on Wednesday went viral on social media.

Koi nazdeekiyan nahi (there is no closeness with RJD)….We (JD(U)) are firmly with the NDA and will remain so,” Mr. Singh told reporters in Patna, answering their questions on it.

“In public life people do meet each other despite political differences. Coordination at some level between the government and the Opposition is required. This helped in passing the resolution against National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) unanimously. Nothing further should be seen in this,” he said.

“While hazarding a guess with regard to our relations with Mr. Yadav’s party (RJD) please do keep in mind his ‘vishvaman’ against us for getting a clearer perspective,” Mr. Singh said.

The 20-minute-long meeting between the Chief Minister and Mr. Yadav had followed heated exchanges during a debate on an adjournment motion moved on CAA-NPR-NRC by Mr. Yadav and others with the demand that the House pass a resolution against these like many other States.

The Chief Minister had read out from a letter written by the State government to the Centre requesting that the contentious clauses be dropped from the NPR form and suggested that it be treated as a resolution, endorsed by the House and the Centre be notified about the same.

Mr. Kumar had also admonished Mr. Yadav on the floor of the House for making personal attacks against him. He had said, “Your father [Lalu Prasad] has a right to do so, but not you.”

After the meeting, which was seen as a rapprochement gesture on the part of the embarrassed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader, the post-lunch session saw the Budget being tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

Following this, the Speaker moved a resolution proposing that the NRC be deemed unnecessary and the NPR be held as per the previous format, wherein details such as places of birth of parents were not required.

The resolution was passed unanimously, virtually taking the sting out of the Congress-RJD combine campaign in Bihar against CAA-NPR-NRC since the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is a partner in power in the State too acquiesced, though it expressed bewilderment afterwards.

Mr. Singh also sought to make light of the star-studded rally under way at the Gandhi Maidan, where intellectuals and artistes from across the country have gathered to lend their support to Communist Party of India (CPI) rising star Kanhaiya Kumar’s drive against CAA-NPR-NRC.

When parties seem to be left with no concrete programmes, their people embark on tours for saving the Constitution, the Rajya Sabha member remarked.

The Janata Dal (United) machinery, he said, has geared up for the Assembly polls due within nine months and the party’s might will be on display at a ‘Karyakarta Sammelan’ on March 1, which is expected to be attended by not less than two lakh people.

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