The Bihar Deputy CM bristled when it was pointed out to him that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in the opposition in the state, was alleging that the much-publicised caste survey had many irregularities
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. File Pic
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday strongly defended Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra who is facing accusations of having received bribes for targeting a business conglomerate in Parliament, reported news agency PTI.
Tejashwi Yadav, whose Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) shares an affinity with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) since much before the formation of I-N-D-I-A coalition, also made a veiled attack on BJP MP Nishikant Dubey who has come up with the allegation against Moitra and sought her disqualification from Lok Sabha, reported PTI.
"Mahua Moitra is a highly educated lady who had an illustrious career as a banker before she took the political plunge. On the other hand, the one who is coming up with nonsense against her is known to the media for various wrongdoings, which include fake degrees," Tejashwi Yadav told reporters.
The allusion was to charges levelled against Dubey, by Moitra inside Parliament several months ago that the BJP MP had falsely claimed in his election affidavit that he had an MBA degree and a PhD. Moitra had also demanded termination of Dubey's membership of the Lok Sabha on the ground.
"The points Mahua Moitra has been raising in Parliament have unsettled the ruling side (at the Centre). And hence, they are trying to get back at her," alleged Yadav.
Moitra has made several allegations against the Adani Group and its "connection" with the BJP.
The Bihar Deputy CM bristled when it was pointed out to him that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in the opposition in the state, was alleging that the much-publicised caste survey had many irregularities, reported PTI.
He replied: "The data has been collected in a scientific manner. However, if the BJP believes otherwise, I have always said that they are free to ask the Centre to get a caste census done. The fact is, the BJP and Prime Minister Modi are wary of a headcount of castes. Hence, they are raising pointless objections."
The caste survey, findings of which were released earlier this month, has shown that Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Classes form a whopping 63 per cent of the state's total population while the Hindu upper castes, which form the BJP's core base, were slightly over 10 per cent, reported PTI.
Replying to a query about seat-sharing among the constituents of Bihar's ruling Mahagathbandhan, Yadav said, "There will be no problem. Everything was smooth in the alliance during 2015 assembly polls when we had to decide about 243 seats. In Lok Sabha elections, there are only 40 seats."
About a CBI petition seeking cancellation of bail of RJD supremo and his father Lalu Prasad in land for jobs scam, Yadav said, "We will make our submission before the court. But the CBI wants to get the bail cancelled on no valid grounds. It had tried to do a similar thing in my case a few years ago."
Asked about a Delhi court granting him permission to visit Japan later this month, Yadav, who has also been named as an accused in the scam, said he was looking forward to his "official tour" of the East Asian country, reported PTI.
"The Japanese revere Buddha and they have strong feelings about Bihar which is the land where Buddha had got enlightenment. I will be holding talks with envoys and other officials of Japan to discuss ways to facilitate tourism and travel," added Yadav.
(With inputs from PTI)