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Tejashwi makes fresh bid to fish in NDA's troubled waters

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. File

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. File | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday made a fresh attempt at fishing in the NDA's troubled waters in Bihar by questioning the manner in which security for the BJP's leaders and offices were ramped up in the state in the wake of violent protests against 'Agnipath' scheme.

The leader of the opposition came out with a series of tweets accusing BJP leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi, MPs and MLAs, who have been given “Y” category security, of having no faith in their “own double engine government” but staying in a coalition with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) “just for the sake of power”.

Mr. Yadav also alleged that deployment of central paramilitary forces at BJP offices was made “without taking the state government into confidence” and was tantamount to “assault on the federal structure”.

BJP offices were torched in more than one districts and houses and cars of Renu Devi, besides party's state unit president Sanjay Jaiswal and a couple of other MLAs were vandalised during the protests against 'Agnipath', the new scheme of recruitment in the armed forces.

The BJP was obviously flabbergasted by the scale and intensity of the protests and contention of the JD(U) that these were “spontaneous” and not part of a “planned conspiracy” as suggested by the saffron party, had placed the ties between the two parties under strain.

There have been rumours, neither confirmed nor denied by leaders of the JD(U) or the administration, that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre decided to give “Y” category security to 10 Bihar leaders and deploy personnel of central paramilitary forces at party offices, including the state headquarters here, without consulting the chief minister who also holds the home portfolio.

Notably, Mr. Kumar himself has so far not spoken about 'Agnipath', which has come in for criticism by his close aides like JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Prasad Singh and parliamentary board chief Upendra Kushwaha.

However, a visit to his residence recently by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who later also declared that the chief minister was NDA's undisputed leader in Bihar and will complete his five-year-term, was seen as an assuaging tactic by the central BJP leadership which may not like the JD(U), currently its largest ally in the country, to be estranged at this point.

A softening of stance on part of the JD(U) was apparent during the recently concluded monsoon session of the assembly and ministers belonging to the party criticised, in unison with their BJP colleagues, the opposition's ruckus over 'Agnipath'.

Nonetheless, Mr. Yadav, who has been buoyant over his party becoming the single largest group with four MLAs of the AIMIM joining the RJD, has indicated that he will not be sitting on his laurels and continue to keep the ruling NDA, whom he has repeatedly accused of achieving power “through backdoor”, on its toes.

“The Bihar government should tell us whether the police is so incompetent so as to warrant deployment of central forces at BJP offices?”, tweeted Mr. Yadav, in a deft attempt to provoke the JD(U).

"Did the Centre not attack the federal structure by deploying central forces without taking the state government into confidence," he asked.

"BJP leaders in Bihar have taken 'Y' category security because they do not trust their own double engine government in the state, the home department here and the police. Are these shameless (begairat) and corrupt (bhrasht) people in power just to loot the people?”, asked the former Deputy CM in yet another tweet.

The term "double engine" is used by BJP leaders to refer to the party being in power at the Centre as well as in a state.


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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 2:51:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tejashwi-makes-fresh-bid-to-fish-in-ndas-troubled-waters/article65592598.ece