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Bihar: RJD Leader Claims Tejashwi Will Take Over as CM Next Month, Creates Flutter

JD(U) spokesperson denies any change, says Nitish Kumar will continue as CM.
Image Courtesy: PTI

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: Amid the buzz that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is set to play an important role at the national level to unite the Opposition ahead of the 2024 general elections to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a senior leader of the ruling RJD, Vijay Kumar Mandal, on Tuesday claimed party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav would replace Kumar as Chief Minister in March 2023.

Tejashwi will soon become next CM. He will take oath after phagua (Holi festival). There is no doubt about this as Nitish Kumar will focus on national politics,” Mandal, who is an MLA from Dinara Assembly seat in Rohtas district representing the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), told the local media here.

When reminded that Kumar in December last year had announced that the ruling Mahagathbandhan would contest the 2025 Assembly polls under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav. Mandal said he would replace Kumar next month itself.

Soon after Mandal made such a claim, Janata Dal (United) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar dismissed his remarks and said Kumar would continue as CM. “As a party spokesman, I have no information that Kumar will be replaced by someone next month”, he told reporters.

Mandal’s claim has given a new twist to ongoing speculation over Tejashwi Yadav being promoted by none other than Kumar to succeed him under a “special deal” with RJD, as alleged by Upendra Kushwaha, who revolted against Kumar, quit the JD(U) on Monday and announced that he would form a new political party.

Kushwaha, an old associate of Kumar since the days of the Samata Party in the mid-90s, expressed his anguish over Kumar neglecting him as a successor.

Sensing the fallout, JD-U national president Lalan Singh had quickly denied that Tejashwi Yadav would be made Mahagathbandhan's CM face in the next Assembly polls. He said it was not yet decided who would be the CM face in 2025. “It will be decided when appropriate time will come, right now our concern is 2024 polls (Lok Sabha),” he had said.

However, in recent days, Kumar has made a few statements that have created more confusion about Tejashwi Yadav’s role. For instance, last week he asked ally Congress leaders to talk to Tejashwi Yadav about cabinet expansion.

Last December, Kumar had surprised everyone when he said: “Hum log ko 2025 ke Assembly chunav mein Tejashwi ko aage karna hai. Tejashwi ke netritva mein chunav lada jayega” (We will promote or push forward Tejashwi in the 2025 Bihar Assembly polls, it will be contested under the leadership of Tejashwi, he will lead us).

The Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance in Bihar consists of Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad/Tejashwi Yadav, Hindustani Awam Manch of Jitan Ram Manjhi, Congress, Left and some socialist parties.

After August 2022, when Kumar dumped his coalition partner BJP and joined hands with the Opposition Mahagathbandhan to form the government.

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