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‘Uncomfortable’ Nitish’s eyeing return to Grand Alliance, but doors are closed: Tejashwi

PATNA: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former deputy chief minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav has claimed that there is no place for his ‘uncle’ and Janata Dal-United leader and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the grand alliance.
Tejashwi even claimed that Nitish – the JDU president – was feeling “uncomfortable” in the BJP-led NDA and wanted to return to the Grand Alliance.
“The door is closed” for his return to the grand alliance,” Tejashwi said.
Tejashwi Yadav, who is also Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly, refuted suggestions here by the leaders of the RJD’s ally Congress that Kumar’s return to the “mahagathbandhan” could be considered if he chose to snap ties with the BJP.
“They (Congress) are not authorised to take a decision in this regard,” Tejashwi told reporters.
“After Nitish ji ditched us last year and rejoined the NDA, he tried to sell the idea to the people of Bihar that he had the welfare of the state in mind and that with the NDA in power both at the Centre and in the state, Bihar would be equipped with a double engine that will speed up its development. Nothing of that sort has happened,” Tejashwi, the younger son of RJD president Lalu Prasad, said.
Tejashwi also slammed the Centre for not considering the long pending demand for the grant of a special category status for Bihar.
“Even his (Nitish) hopes for grant of a special category status, or at least a special economic package, have been dashed. The Centre has snubbed him on this count and despite being an alliance partner, he is not in a position to confront the BJP on the issue,” he alleged.
“In this backdrop, it seems, he (Kumar) is making up his mind for yet another turnaround. The recent assertions by the leaders of his party that the JD(U) was the big brother in the NDA and that it should be given more seats in the next Lok Sabha polls point to that direction,” he said.
“But he is now left with little credibility. There is no guarantee that if we, speaking hypothetically, agree to yet another tie-up, he would not ditch us sometime later. The door is now closed,” the former deputy CM said.
To a query about a statement by AICC in-charge for the state Shaktisinh Gohil that the party leadership could take a fresh decision on Nitish Kumar if he severed ties with the BJP, Yadav said “whatever has been said, has been in reply to the pressing queries by the media persons. Moreover, they are not the people authorized to take a decision in such matters.”
“I am personally in touch with Rahul Gandhi and we have a mutual understanding that the RJD and the Congress shall be working towards building a long-term partnership.
“Moreover, it should be remembered that when Gandhi and I recently met on lunch, JD(U) spokespersons called us names and accused both of us of being corrupt. I wonder if the Congress would ever forgive the JD(U), of which Kumar is the national president, for that,” he said.
Yadav also announced his party’s decision “to take out a state-wide cycle rally against the failure of the JD(U)-BJP government in the state.”
He made the announcement, speaking to media persons at his residence in presence of a number of RJD leaders like state president Ramchandra Purve and national secretary general Qamar Alam.
He also informed that the RJD allies like Congress, the Hindustani Awam Morcha and other like-minded parties like NCP, Samajwadi Party, BSP and CPI-ML would also be invited to join the cycle rally.