The crack in the "mahagathbandhan" (Grand Alliance) in Bihar widened after the on Saturday when the JD (U) made it clear that the CM would not compromise on his demand that Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav furnishes a response to each of the graft charges levelled against him by the CBI. The Bihar CM could win the chief ministerial post only because the Yadav stalwart was convicted in the fodder scam and under the new law he was barred from contesting any elections.
On Kumar "distancing" himself from Prakash, Minister Jai Kumar Singh of the JD (U) claimed that the Chief Minister changed his seat to have a "better view" of the television screen.
In a related development, state Congress leader and Education Minister Ashok Chowdhry went to Nitish's official residence and was closeted with the chief minister for an hour.
Speaking to ANI, Prasad said, "I don't have anything to say on this issue". He reiterated that he will not resign.
State JD-U chief spokesman Sanjay Singh said the RJD should provide facts and not "display arrogance" of having 80 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar assembly. It is alleged that Tejashwi was granted the ownership of three acres of land at a prime location in Patna in 2004 from a private party, who were given the licence to run two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri by his father Lalu Yadav, the then Railway Minister. Sharad Yadav's remarks have been in line with the stance taken by the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress - that the raids are a political conspiracy by the BJP. Senior leaders in the party maintain that if he alone resigns, it will send a wrong signal, nearly of accepting the crime and bending to the JD (U)'s whims. RJD's ally Janata Dal (United) is apparently anxious about the possible damage to its leader and chief minister Nitish Kumar's image as a "clean leader" in view of the developments.
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. Fissures appeared in the grand alliance of the JD (U), RJD and Congress after Nitish announced support to NDA Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, and the CBI registered a case against Tejashwi. Nitish has yet to say anything directly to media on the issue.
The alliance has come under severe strain ever since Lalu, his wife Rabri, and his son Tejashwi were booked by the CBI on corruption charges.