2014 file photo of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar at an election rally in Hajipur. Photograph: (PTI)
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Friday said his son Tejashwi, accused of corruption, would not resign as Bihar deputy chief minister. He also dismissed reports of a rift in the 'mahagatbandhan', the JD(U), RJD, and Congress alliance that rules the state.
"The Vidhan Mandal of our party has taken a decision that Tejashwi Yadav will not resign," Lalu told ANI.
"An FIR is not sufficient reason for the resignation," he said.
The RJD chief said the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on himself and his son were an attempt by the BJP to break the grand alliance.
"For us the priority is the Presidential elections. There are reports of rift in the alliance. Media reports are showing that Sonia ji has held talks with me and Nitish ji, all this is false. Our alliance is unbreakable. The RJD will not give the BJP and the RSS any space to enter Bihar. This song and dance with the CBI reports and the ED reports is an attempt by the BJP to break our alliance in Bihar," Lalu Prasad said.
"All tangible and intangible assets of Lalu Yadav and his family are in public domain. The RJD will not let anybody break our alliance," he added.
The RJD chief added that he and his family have already issued their clarification on the corruption charges that have been filed by the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI).
"Whatever accusations have been made against me and my family, we have already issued a clarification in the press conference. We will give our responses to the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate whenever they call us," said Lalu.
Sonia Gandhi on Friday called Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad, news reports said.
The calls were made, the reports said, to save the 'mahagatbandhan'.
The news reports quoted Congress sources as saying they thought that now that Sonia had spoken to Nitish and Lalu, things would be alright in a few days.
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.
The CBI alleges Lalu had accepted a bribe in return for an IRCTC contract that he awarded to a hotel company. Lalu was railway minister at the time.
The JD(U) meanwhile has been calling for Tejashwi's resignation as deputy chief minister of Bihar. There is increased pressure on chief minister Nitish Kumar to sack Tejashwi to protect an image of clean governance.