A denial by the Janata Dal United (JDU) about Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar declaring deputy chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav as the next chief minister sparked off a controversy between the ruling allies in the state on Tuesday.
The RJD asserted that Tejashwi would soon become the chief minister of the state and Nitish would go on to play a central role in national politics by uniting the Opposition parties.
“Tejashwi will soon become the chief minister. He will take oath after the Holi festival. Nitish will pay attention to national politics,” RJD MLA Vijay Kumar Mandal told reporters. Mandal represents the Dinara constituency in Rohtas district.
Asked about Nitish’s previous statements that Tejashwi will lead the Grand Alliance in the 2025 Assembly elections, he asserted: “I am confident our leader Tejashwi will replace him (Nitish) next month.” The Holi festival is on March 8. Several JDU leaders pooh-poohed Mandal’s remarks but expressed unwillingness to come out with statements given the sensibilities of ally RJD, the largest party in the state legislative Assembly.
However, JDU spokesperson and MLC Neeraj Kumar told The Telegraph: “Mandal is not in the decision-making body of the RJD, therefore he might not be knowing everything. The Grand Alliance is right now working to hold a joint public rally at Purnea on February 25.”
The chain of events started on Monday with former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha leaving the JDU to form a new party Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal (RLJD) after claiming a deal by Nitish to hand over power to Tejashwi.