Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav has said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi deserves to become the prime minister of India, because "he has a long parliamentary experience."
Replying to questions from Rajat Sharma in the show Aap Ki Adalat, Tejashwi Yadav, who has taken charge of RJD in the absence of his father Lalu Prasad -- presently in jail, said: "Narendra Modi did not even contest a panchayat poll, when he was made the Gujarat chief minister in the wake of earthquake, and he then became the prime minister. Rahul Gandhi deserves to be the prime minister, because he has a long political innings as MP from Amethi. Moreover, he is the president of India's oldest political party."
Asked who could become the prime minister with so many aspirants like Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Sharad Pawar, Tejashwi Yadav replied guardedly: "It is a question of pre- and post-poll alliances. We will have to see how the post-poll alliance evolves. As the largest party, the responsibility of Congress is the biggest. In 2004 too, a similar thing happened. Dr Manmohan Singh was chosen as the prime minister. Nobody then knew Dr Singh would become the prime minister. And yet, he governed the country for ten years."
On BJP's charge that the Opposition has failed to project a single candidate for the PM post to counter Narendra Modi, the RJD leader replied: "Did BJP project Manohar Lal Khattar and Devendra Fadnavis as CM candidates in Haryana and Maharashtra? You cannot have it both ways."
Tejashwi Yadav alleged that he and his family members were not being allowed to meet Lalu Prasad in jail. "They are not allowing the son to meet his ailing father. No contacts too. Earlier the High Court allowed three persons to meet Lalu Ji only on Saturdays, and even that permission has been withdrawn."
The RJD leader also alleged that "ED, CBI and Income Tax department had filed cases against me, my brother, my mom, all my seven sisters, all my seven brothers-in-law (jeeja) and their sisters, and also against Lalu ji's 'samadhi' and 'samadhin' and other relatives."
"There is a trend going on now. Join BJP and all your sins will be washed away. Chacha (Nitish Kumar) did a 'palti' (U-turn) and the sins in Srijan scam and Muzaffarpur girls' home rape case have been washed away.
"For the first time in the history of Supreme Court, an interim CBI director was asked to sit inside the court for a whole day like an errant student, because he had transferred the CBI official who was probing the Muzaffarpur girls' home rape case. If the probe had continued, our 'Paltu Chacha' (Nitish Kumar) would not have remained Chief Minister."
On refusal of ticket to CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai, Tejashwi Yadav said: "CPI is confined to a particular caste and a particular district [Begusarai]. In the 2014 LS polls, CPI candidate had got 1.75 lakh votes. Our candidate Tanvir Hassan got 4.5 lakh votes. There are very few constituencies in India where Muslim leaders have been given tickets. That is why we fielded Tanveer Hassan."
The RJD leader alleged that "40 big scams have taken place during Nitish Kumar's rule, but not a single minister or official was removed. The son and daughter-in-law of Manorama Devi, main accused in Srijan scam, are openly moving around."
Tejashwi Yadav claimed that Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) "will become extinct like the dinosaurs after the current Lok Sabha elections."