Nitish Plays Safe on Tejaswi Yadav Issue

JD-U leaders arriving at CM's residence in Patna.

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Patna: After four days of suspense over whether he would comment on the future of his deputy Tejaswi Yadav who is now embroiled in a CBI criminal probe over shady land and property deals, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday played it safe saying he would never compromise on the issue of crime and corruption and those who stand accused of such crimes will have to prove their innocence.

Speaking at the party working committee meeting convened to decide about the party's relationship with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in the wake of the CBI raids at various properties of party President Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, and their son and Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, Kumar said that he did not believe in hearsay and those who remain accused will have to answer themselves.

"I am never going to compromise on crime and corruption issues. The law will take its own course," the Chief Minister said without ever mentioning the name of Lalu's son.

Kumar then went on a rant about how he had built his character by doing the right things in his life based on truth, justice, and morality.

"I resigned from my post on moral grounds after a train accident when I was the Railway Minister in the Vajpayee government in spite of the fact that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not want me to resign," he said.

The Chief Minister also mentioned names of other party leaders, including former ministers Ramadhar Singh and R N Singh, who in the past had resigned in the face of allegations against them.

The Chief Minister's use of metaphors and allegories were seen as clear signals to his Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav who is under pressure to resign from his post in the wake of corruption charges against him.

Later, at a press conference, JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar repeated Kumar's words almost verbatim about making no compromise over crime and corruption.

"Those who are accused need to respond. We believe in zero tolerance when it comes to crime or corruption," he said.

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