Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday ruled out any tie-up with the JD-U in Bihar even if it snaps ties with the RJD, whose leader Lalu Prasad and his kin are facing corruption allegations.
Modi also said that nothing much should be read into the “issue-based” friendship between Nitish Kumar and the National Democratic Alliance in the wake of the JD-U’s support to BJP’s Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind.
He said only the BJP Parliamentary Board can decide on any political developments in Bihar.
“There is no such plan with the BJP (of tying up with JD-U). In case of any fresh political development, the BJP Parliamentary Board alone is empowered to take a decision,” Modi, a former Deputy Chief Minister, told IANS in an interview.
He was asked to comment on Bihar BJP President Nithyanand Rai’s reported remarks that the BJP would consider providing outside support to the JD-U if it snaps ties with Lalu Prasad’s RJD.
Modi said Rai had denied making such a statement.
Modi said the Janata Dal-United and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have supported each other on certain issues but this should not be seen as the two parties coming together.
“The support (in the Presidential election) is issue based and nothing more should be read into it. The BJP has supported Nitish Kumar’s liquor prohibition policy and he has supported the NDA presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind,” he said.
“But for Vice President’s election, his (Nitish Kumar) party has supported the UPA candidate.”
Modi also said his party was not hatching any conspiracy to destabilise the Bihar government.
“The BJP is not interested in breaking any alliance or government. The government will only fall because of the corruption (charges) and other things against its partners.”
The CBI, the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate are probing several cases of corruption against Lalu Prasad and his family including his son and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, daughter Misa Bharati and her husband.
The CBI raided the residences of Lalu Prasad’s family in connection with an alleged case of corruption in giving tenders of two hotels to a private company when he was Railway Minister.
In the CBI case, Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi and his son Tejashwi Yadav have been named among the accused.
Modi said the people had given a mandate to the Grand Alliance of the Nitish Kumar-led JD-U, RJD and the Congress and they should run the government.
Asked about the Bihar Chief Minister’s “silence” over the allegations of corruption against Tejashwi Yadav, Modi said: “The day Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad made the alliance, he had compromised with his integrity and transparency. He joined hands with Lalu Prasad to remain in power and now it has become a ‘gale ki haddi’ for him.
“The only option left with him is to dismiss Tejashwi Yadav,” he said.
Modi also said that during his stint as NDA Chief Minister, he had set a very high benchmark. In that light, he must dismiss Lalu Prasad’s son, the BJP leader said.
“After maintaining silence for four days, Nitish Kumar has given an ultimatum to the RJD to give a point-by-point rebuttal on the alleged corruption allegations,” Modi said.
“The RJD has taken a stand that Tejashwi Yadav won’t resign. Now Nitish Kumar has to take a call.”
He said Nitish Kumar cannot give “good governance” in the company of Lalu Prasad.
The BJP leader pointed out that Nitish Kumar had earlier stated there will be no compromise on the issues of corruption and crime.
He said the BJP wants a time-line from Nitish Kumar over the Tejashwi Yadav issue.