Laloo Yadav says he will not resign, even if he is indicted in animal fodder scam
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal president Laloo Prasad
Yadav says he will not quit either post in the wake of
his interrogation by the Central Bureau
of Investigation in the Rs 10 billion animal fodder scam.
Laloo Yadav dismissed as
"freakish" speculation that he might leave the Dal
to help Congress president Sitaram Kesri replace Prime Minister
H D Deve Gowda.
"I am not an Aya Ram Aur Gaya Ram in politics and there
is no question of deserting the Dal and the United Front,"
he said, adding that, "the UF government is mine and I will
continue to strengthen it."
Referring to media reports that Kesri -- who also hails from Bihar -- might become
prime minister through a realignment of the Congress with some UF
constituents, Laloo Yadav quipped, "Mr Kesri could become
the prime minister only after 2000."
Replying to a pointed question whether he would resign
from the twin posts if chargesheeted in the fodder scam, Laloo
Yadav declared that those who were seeking
his resignation had not made him chief minister.
"No one has understood my mettle... I am in politics
since 1965... I have the capacity to fight it out alone,"
When one reporter asked him about the possibility of his dismissal
from the chief ministership as well as the Dal president, Yadav
was quick to take offence. "Who will remove me? As Dal chief I can sack
anyone," he declared.
He accused CBI Joint Director U N Biswas of acting
like a politician. He complained that the CBI officer
was "totally biased against him."
Biswas headed the CBI team which interrogated Laloo Yadav for nine hours on Monday.
have no vishvas (confidence) on Biswas," the
chief minister said he would write to the CBI director, demanding
that Biswas be removed from the scam investigation.
The CBI's investigation, he said,
should have gone back to 1977 when irregularities in the animal
husbandry department first started taking place.
"Interrogation by the CBI does not mean that I am guilty," the CM
Yadav then accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of involvement in the
"conspiracy" to indict him. There was a remarkable similarity between Biswas's remark
on Tuesday that the chief minister was likely to be chargesheeted in the case
and BJP leader Sushil Mody's remarks in the state assembly.
The BJP, on the other hand, demanded Yadav's immediate arrest.
Sushil Mody, the leader of the Opposition in the Bihar
assembly, claimed that the CBI, which had already
delayed Yadav's interrogation, was now trying to save him
from being chargesheeted.
If the investigating agency claimed
to have collected ample evidence against the chief minister Mody asked why
it had not arrested Yadav as it had three legislators -- belonging to the BJP,
Congress and Janata Dal -- without interrogating them.
He alleged that the Janata Dal -- which heads the United Front at the Centre --
was trying to save Yadav from being arrested by defaming
CBI Joint Director Biswas, who was a dalit by caste.
Referring to Yadav's insinuation that Biswas and Mody were in cahoots,
the BJP leader said he had never met Biswas nor ever talked to him.
"My statement in the state assembly that Mr Yadav might be chargesheeted
by January 15 was based on media reports about the pace of the
scam investigation and on my personal calculations that had Mr
Yadav been interrogated in December the chargesheet could have
been filed by mid-January," Mody said.