Reply to charges in public or quit..Nitish's message to Lalu's son

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish  Kumar on Tuesday asked the RJD and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav  to give a "fact-wise reply in public" to the corruption charges hurled  at him but said the ruling Grand Alliance won't break.
"So far,  the reply or explanation given by them is not satisfactory. They should  come out with fact-wise reply in public," the Janata Dal-United (JD-U)  leader told his party leaders, breaking his silence on the younger son  of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Nitish Kumar's comments follow a corruption case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

"I  shall not compromise with my principles. I am firm on my resolve of  zero tolerance against corruption," Nitish Kumar reportedly said at his  official residence here.

His statement came after a series of raids on the Deputy Chief Minister and other members of Lalu Prasad's family.

"I will not tolerate corruption," Nitish Kumar was quoted as saying by a senior party leader.

Without  naming Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi Yadav, Nitish Kumar said a "fact-wise  reply" should be given in public by those against whom allegations of  corruption had surfaced.

He said whenever there were allegations of corruption against any JD-U leader, his party had taken necessary action.

"RJD  will have to take action against its leader. It is for RJD to act  against Tejashwi as he has been named in a FIR by the CBI."

But the Chief Minister said he and his party won't break the ruling Grand Alliance.

"Hum  gathbandhan todenge nahi... akhri dum tak isse bachane ki koshish  karenge. (We will not break the Grand Alliance... We will try to save it  till the end)."

The Grand Alliance comprises the JD-U, RJD and the Congress.

JD-U  spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said his party wanted those facing  allegations of corruption to come out with facts in the public domain.  "JD-U will not compromise on corruption and crime."

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has repeatedly asked Nitish Kumar to sack Tejashwi Yadav and end the alliance with the RJD.

A  day after the RJD announced that Tejashwi Yadav would not resign and  dubbed the CBI action against him a "political conspiracy" to  destabilise the Grand Alliance, speculation was rife that Nitish Kumar  and his party could demand the former's resignation.

Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav is the Health Minister in the Bihar government.

On  Friday, the CBI conducted raids across four cities in connection with a  corruption case in which Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi  Yadav are among the accused.

The case relates to alleged  manipulation in award of contract for maintenance of two hotels run by  railway subsidiary IRCTC when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister in  the United Progressive Alliance government.


IANS