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'All RJD ministers will resign if Tejashwi is forced to quit'

July 14, 2017 15:10 IST

The party leaders said that not only would they quit the cabinet, but also withdraw support from the Grand Alliance.

M I Khan reports.

The cracks in the Janata Dal-United and Rashtriya Janata Dal are growing deeper each day with RJD leaders on Friday threatening to quit the cabinet if Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav was compelled to quit.

“RJD has decided that Tejashwi will not resign, but, in case, Tejashwi is sacked or compelled to quit by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, all RJD minister will resign en masse,” said a senior RJD leader, close to Lalu Yadav.

The leader added that the party had no option but to follow Tejashwi as he is the leader of the RJD Legislature party in the assembly and the political heir of Lalu. “Laluji has told party MLAs and senior leaders that Tejashwi is the future leader of the party and face of the party.”

RJD leaders said that not only would they resign from the cabinet, but the party, itself, would withdraw from the Mahagathbandhan government. “RJD will continue to support the Nitish Kumar government from outside so as to ensure that BJP does not extend support to the government,” said another leader.

According to sources in the RJD, Lalu, who is camping in Ranchi for the past two days to appear in court in connection with the fodder scam case, would take the final decision about Tejashwi’s future after he returned from Ranchi. 

“Laluji may be in Ranchi, but he is in touch with some party leaders and keeping close watch on statements of JD-U leaders and any development related to the ruling Grand Alliance,” said RJD leaders.

Following the RJD leaders’ statement, it is learnt that Nitish Kumar approached Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul to persuade Lalu not to delay the resignation of Tejashwi and not put the alliance’s future in doldrums.

Last Friday, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted raids across four cities in a corruption case in which Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi were among the accused. The case relates to alleged manipulation in awarding contracts for the maintenance of two hotels run by a subsidiary of the Indian Railways -- IRCTC -- when the RJD chief was railway minister in the United Progressive Alliance government. 

M I Khan in Patna