Tejashwi Yadav dismisses BJP's calls for resignation
Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav cast his vote for electing the president at the Bihar Legislative Assembly in Patna on July 17. Photograph: (Twitter)
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav on Monday dismissed questions about the growing chorus for his resignation as media speculation.
The BJP maintained that he has only two options - resign or get sacked.
Responding to a question on the demand for his resignation, Tejashwi told reporters outside the Assembly, "It (resignation demand) is only in the media."
Tejashwi had skipped an official function on July 15, where he was to share the dais with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, triggering speculation that the festering acrimony between the JD(U) and the RJD had reached a flash point in the wake of an FIR being registered by the CBI against the deputy chief minister in the land-for-hotels case.
RJD president Lalu Prasad has also ruled out the resignation of his son Tejashwi.
While Tejaswi appeared to have decided to dig in his heels, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said, "He has only two options - either tender resignation or get sacked."
Modi, who is the state BJP Parliamentary Party chief, urged Nitish Kumar to "stand firm on his ground (in seeking Tejashwi's resignation)... The BJP will be standing with him on his decision on this issue".
Though none of the JD(U) spokespersons made any statement on the issue today (Monday), party MLA Shyam Bahadur Singh said, "It's better if the alliance breaks today... We love to work with the BJP."
Congress MLA Shakil Ahmad Khan and MLC Dilip Chaudhary suggested senior leaders of the three coalition partners talk among themselves to hammer out a solution.
Nitish Kumar heads a three-party coalition government which also includes the Congress.
Amid reports of the BJP going soft on Nitish Kumar after the Tejashwi episode, Modi thanked the chief minister for his support to the NDA's presidential pick Ram Nath Kovind.
"Nitish Kumar's support to the NDA nominee holds a lot of significance for which we thank him," he said, claiming that along with NDA and JD(U) MLAs, four Independents also voted for Kovind.
Tejashwi, who was accompanied by RJD chief whip in the Assembly Lalit Yadav, also claimed 100 per cent voting by the RJD and Congress MLAs in favour of the UPA presidential nominee Meira Kumar.
Three CPI(ML) MLAs have also voted for Meira Kumar.