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As Lalu Eats Ladoos, JD(U) Calls Nitish-Tejashwi Meeting ‘Routine’

A closed door meeting between Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM and Lalu’s son, Tejashwi, lasted 40 minutes.

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Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar after their victory in the Bihar Assembly elections. 
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JD(U) on Wednesday dubbed Tuesday's meeting between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav as “routine,” reiterating that the Deputy Chief Minister should clear all accusations against him on the basis of facts in the public domain.

The JD(U) sought to dispel the notion that the impasse in the Grand Alliance government, cropping up after the lodging of an FIR by the CBI against Tejashwi Yadav, allegedly for amassing huge wealth, has ended following the nearly 45-minute meeting between Kumar and Yadav after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Yadav is an accused in the land-for-hotels case, allegedly involving the members of his father Lalu Prasad’s family.

“It was a routine meeting of a Cabinet colleague with the CM over some governmental matters and not a political one ... Our stand remains the same that those facing accusations should reply to them in the public domain,” JD(U) spokesman Ajay Alok said, attaching no political significance to Tuesday's meeting.

The RJD, however, rated high the meeting between Kumar and Yadav.

“There is no matbhed (difference in opinion) between us. Grand Alliance is strong,” RJD leader and minister Vijay Prakash said.

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Even RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav seemed optimistic about the strained ties in the alliance being mended.

So unrestrained was his joy, that he indulged in a ladoo with his bedtime glass of milk, reported NDTV.

This was Kumar’s first interaction with junior Yadav since the CBI case against the latter which has rattled Bihar. The closed door meeting lasted for nearly 40 minutes, an official in the Chief Minister's Office said. Yadav is believed to have presented the Chief Minister with a detailed defence of the charges against him.

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Kumar, who has mostly refrained from commenting on the CBI case, has expressed that there will be no tolerance for corruption in his cabinet. He has also dismissed Yadav’s allegations of a political conspiracy against him by the BJP, as ‘inadequate’.

Kumar had demanded an explanation from Yadav, though the demand for Yadav’s resignation was apparent. As the cracks in the alliance came to head, Kumar turned to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who leads one-third of the alliance in the state, for mediation.

Bihar has been in the grip of a political crisis after the CBI registered a case against Yadav in a benami property case and also raided his premises earlier this month, leading to demands for his resignation.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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