JD-U downplays bid by some RJD MLAs to project deputy CM as Nitish’s successor.
Patna: The JD(U) on Thursday downplayed the RJD’s demand to elevate deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav as successor to chief minister Nitish Kumar. A debate was triggered Thursday after former Bihar CM Rabri Devi said in a statement that “there have been demands from people to make Tejaswi Yadav chief minister of Bihar”.
The JD(U) said the statements in favour of Tejaswi Yadav becoming CM were the “personal views” of some RJD leaders, and reiterated that chief minister Nitish Kumar was the “tallest leader” in the grand secular alliance. “Nitish Kumar is the most acceptable face in the Mahagathbandhan today and it’s the people who chose him”, senior JD(U) leader Shyam Rajak said.
Tejaswi, youngest son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, is a first-time MLA and was inducted as deputy CM after the RJD won the largest number of seats in the Assembly elections. The RJD has 80 seats in the Assembly, while the JD(U) has 71 seats and the Congress 27.
Observers feel Rabri Devi’s statement may widen the rift within Bihar’s ruling coalition.
The idea of Tejaswi Yadav becoming CM was first floated in September, when several RJD MLAs said he was a “youth icon” and would be Bihar’s next CM. Last week a senior RJD legislator projected Tejaswi as Nitish Kumar’s successor.
The idea to elevate him was supported by several legislators who met Rabri Devi and urged her to support the move.
“Tejaswi Yadav, like Akhilesh Yadav, is young and popular, and we feel the time has come for him to be made chief minister,” RJD MLA Surendra Yadav said.