New Delhi: Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and several other Opposition leaders here and is learnt to have discussed developments in the state and the political situation prevailing across the country. Mr Yadav’s visit to Delhi, the first to the national capital after taking the oath of office, also holds significance as the Mahagathbandhan government will face a floor test on August 24 and the finalisation of the names of ministers in the new state Cabinet is under way.
The Cabinet, which for now comprises only chief minister Nitish Kumar and Mr Yadav as his deputy, is due for expansion early next week.
The Bihar deputy CM met Mrs Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence. Mrs Gandhi was instrumental in the formation of the Grand Alliance, or Mahagathbandhan, after Mr Kumar informed her the BJP was trying to break the JD(U).
After meeting the Congress chief, Mr Yadav said: “Nitish ji’s decision to join hands with the RJD and Congress is a tight slap for the BJP. People are sick of unemployment and inflation. The Mahagathbandhan has always raised the real issues.”
Earlier, he met CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and the CPI’s D. Raja and is learnt to have discussed the developments in Bihar as well as the way forward. After the meeting, Mr Yadav said in a tweet that he had met the two Left leaders and had a positive discussion on the current social, economic and political scenario in the country and in Bihar.
“Bihar, the land which gave birth to democracy, has again shown the way to the country,” Mr Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.
Attacking the Central government, Bihar’s deputy CM said: “We the people of Bihar are never going to get scared. What the BJP did in Maharashtra… they were trying to do the same in Jharkhand, but it was foiled. They are out there to subjugate the Constitution with their money power. Our institutions are being ruined one by one.”
Mr Yadav’s Delhi visit is noteworthy as RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav is now based here and the finalisation of names of ministers is set to be high on the agenda during the coming discussions between the two.
The deputy CM will be back in Bihar soon for the Cabinet expansion that is expected immediately after Independence Day. Tejashwi Yadav, while in Delhi, also celebrated Raksha Bandhan with his sisters here.
Insiders claim the JD(U) is keen to retain almost all its ministers. The RJD is expected to get a large chunk in the Cabinet as it has the maximum number of MLAs in the 243-member Assembly. The Congress is expected to get four Cabinet berths. The expansion will be followed, later this month, by a special session of the Assembly, wherein the new government will have to prove its majority on the floor, after electing a new Assembly Speaker.