Tejashwi Yadav, the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, made it clear today that any criticism of his boss, Chief Mister Nitish Kumar, within the Mahagathbandhan is not welcome. “I made it clear to everyone earlier as well. If they give this kind of statements, it plays into the hands of the BJP. We will never tolerate any questioning of the Mahagathbandhan leaderhip,” he told reporters.
Since the Grand Alliance has been reformed, here has been regular criticism of Mr Kumar from a section of his allies. At least one minister was among the critics and he was promptly dropped.
Sudhakar Singh, who handled the agriculture portfolio, was dropped in October after he spoke much on corruption in his own department. A first-time MLA of the RJD, his comments had apparently left Mr Kumar fuming.
Sudhakar Singh is the son of Jagadanand Singh, the chief of the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s state unit.
Tejaswi Yadav has been keen on avoiding controversies after reuniting with Mr Kumar last year. The Grand Alliance had split in 2017 amid much bitterness between Mr Yadav and the family of his friend-turned-foe Lalu Yadav.
The allies only got together last year after Mr Kumar ended the 30-plus years’ partnership with the BJP for a second time.
Tejashwi Yadav, one of the biggest critics of the Chief Minister, has been circumspect since. His volunteering to take up cudgels on Mr Kumar’s behalf is seen as commitment to keeping the Grand Alliance together and in power.
There have been reports that Mr Yadav — once the political heir to his father Lalu Yadav — is now being seen as the one to succeed Nitish Kumar in the top job in Patna. Mr Kumar, reports said, will give his national ambitions a shot.
Mr Yadav has sent ample signals that he is in no hurry. The focus, he has repeatedly said, is on defeating the BJP.