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Nitish begged for forgiveness before Lalu, Rabri prior to dumping BJP in 2022: Tejashwi

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Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav (File photo)

Mohania (Bihar): RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Friday claimed that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had "begged for forgiveness for past betrayals" before his parents, party supremo Lalu Prasad and ex-CM Rabri Devi, before they allied with the JD(U) president in 2022.

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Yadav, who lost the Deputy CM's chair last month when Kumar abruptly went back to the BJP-led NDA, made the claim at a rally in Mohania, in the state's Kaimur district, which was organised as part of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

Breaking into the local dialect Bhojpuri, the young RJD leader said, "Nitish ji had, after begging for forgiveness, told my parents that the BJP was trying to split his party and wean away his MLAs".

Kumar dumped the BJP and joined the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan in 2022.

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The RJD leader added: "We were initially not very inclined towards trusting him again. But there were talks with leaders across the country, all of whom were of the opinion that in the larger interest of the fight against BJP, we should agree. So we made a sacrifice".

Calling his ex-boss "a tired Chief Minister", the RJD leader said he is proud that in just 17 months the Mahagathbandhan made him give government jobs on an unprecedented scale.

"He (Kumar) had earlier mocked me by asking whether I would use my father's money to pay them salary. But I had told him that our support to his government would require him to help us fulfil the promise of 10 lakh government jobs that I had promised to the people ahead of the 2020 assembly polls," Yadav said.

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Yadav claimed the Mahagathbandhan would have won the assembly polls, but for manipulations by the administration, which worked overtime to ensure that its candidates were shown defeated by margins of as low as 12 votes.

Fishing in troubled waters of the NDA, which Kumar has joined claiming he was there "for ever" even as the BJP has made it clear that it will not give up its ambition to form its own government in Bihar, Yadav said, "Now that Nitish ji is back with the BJP, there is no guarantee that he will not make a flip-flop again".

Cries of "palturam (Mr turncoat)" emanated from the crowds, even as the RJD leader added that he had said in the assembly that Prime Minister Narendra Modi prides himself on his guarantees, but even he cannot guarantee that Nitish Kumar will not do another volte-face".

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Yadav's averment came close on the heels of his father making it clear that the RJD's "doors were always open" for Kumar, causing an indignant JD(U) to retort: "The famed padlock of Aligarh has now been placed on the doors".

The young RJD leader added: "We asked the chief minister to at least explain why he was turning his back on us. But he could give no reason. We wonder if he is afraid of ED and CBI".

Earlier, at a farmers' congregation (Kisan Mahapanchayat) in the adjoining district of Rohtas, Yadav took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for paying no heed to the demands of cultivators who were staging a protest in Delhi.

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"He does not have even two minutes to spare for the farmers. But he has time for Priyanka Chopra", said Yadav, in an apparent reference to the Prime Minister's meeting with the Bollywood star a few years ago.

Yadav also referred to his inability to join Gandhi in the first phase of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra's journey through Bihar last month.

"On one day, my father was made to appear before the ED and on the next day it was my turn. But we are not the ones who will be cowed down by such things," he said.

Yadav had also joined Gandhi for a roadshow in Sasaram where, upon the former Congress president's beckoning, he took to the wheel of the car for a brief while.

The Congress hailed the presence of the young RJD leader, sharing the video of Yadav behind the steering wheel with the slogan "Hum INDIA waale", borrowed from a Bollywood song to signify that the opposition bloc was in high spirits, recent setbacks notwithstanding.

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