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Nitish Kumar to hold crucial MLA meet tomorrow as tensions in Bihar alliance grow

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-07-2017 Anuja

New Delhi: All eyes are now set on the crucial Janata Dal (United) or JDU meet on Sunday as Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will take stock of political situation second time in a week. The meeting will take place amidst growing tensions between Kumar-led JDU and ally Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal.

This comes in the backdrop of senior JDU leaders asking the RJD to give clarity in public about corruption allegations against them. The RJD has made it clear that its leader and deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav will not resign.

“This is going to be a crucial meeting. There is no doubt that things have gone from bad to worse in this case and Nitish Kumar is known to take decisions after consultation with his party MLAs. A lot will depend on what comes out of this meeting,” a senior leader from Bihar aware of the developments said requesting anonymity.

Earlier Kumar had held a meeting with his party MLAs on Tuesday following which senior leaders from his party spoke about ‘coalition dharma’ even as they re-iterated their party’s conviction to the issue of anti-corruption.

Tensions escalated on Saturday as Yadav skipped an official meet where Kumar was also going to be present. According to a news report on NDTV website, Yadav was suppose to share the stage with Kumar but skipped the meeting following which his name was removed.

At the heart of the controversy is a spate of recent raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on both Prasad along with his family members, including son Yadav. His eldest daughter Misa Bharti, son-in-law Shailesh Kumar and son Tejashwi Yadav as well as Prasad’s wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi came under the scanner of the income-tax (I-T) department under the Benami Transactions Act 1988.

To politically firefight the issue, Prasad has maintained that these were attempts to ‘break’ the Grand Alliance in Bihar and that he would ensure it does not happen.

Senior JDU leaders feel that irrespective of whatever is the outcome of the current crisis, Kumar is keen on taking ‘long term steps’ to ensure that his and his government’s image remains clean.

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