Another controversy has caught up with Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav. This time the controversy was a creation of his bodyguards as they manhandled reporters outside the Bihar Secretariat in Patna.

The incident occurred when Tejashwi Yadav emerged to address the media after a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The meeting had been called to discuss the developing political situation in the state because of the corruption cases against Lalu Prasad and his family members.

As was obvious, mediapersons surrounded Yadav. In the quest to keep them away, Yadav’s bodyguards began shoving and manhandling the reporters. Police personnel present at the scene had to intervene to calm the ruckus.

This incident isn’t a one-off depicting the roguish attitude of these top RJD leaders. Last week, Tejashwi Yadav was at a press conference with father Lalu Prasad to address the raids conducted by CBI at his residence. Tejashwi had lashed out at a reporter who had posed him a question.

Tejashwi claims that the corruption charges are a bunch of lies. He says, “This allegation relates to 2004 when I was merely 14 years old, when my ‘mooch’ (moustache) had not begun to sprout. Do you think a minor would have committed a scam?”

What facial hair has to do with corruption is rather unclear. Also, haven’t we witnessed enough to not trust this I’m-a-juvenile argument? The most pinching heart-rendering example is that of the Nirbhaya rape case where one of the rapists was a juvenile.

He made it clear that he had no intention of stepping down as deputy chief minister, and also ridiculed speculations of a split in the ‘grand alliance’ of JDU, RJD and Congress. It was of no surprise that Tejashwi accused BJP President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of conspiring against him.

In the most amusing of statements, Yadav said that his government follows a ‘zero-tolerance policy toward corruption’. This being said by the son of Lalu Prasad who’s been jailed in a corruption case and stands disqualified as an MP and who also barred from contesting any public election for 6 years.


Vinayak Jain