Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday, 18 August, said that the allegations of the "return of jungle raj" levelled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against the state government were unfounded.
Over the last few days, the BJP has been taking jibes at Bihar's newly formed Cabinet, in which a majority of the ministers have criminal cases against them.
Addressing the issue, the Janata Dal (United) chief said, "I will answer them at an appropriate time. They are speaking a lot. At this moment, I just need to assure the people that the pace of development under the new dispensation will be greater than ever before," news agency PTI reported.
He also addressed the controversy surrounding newly inducted Law Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Kartikeya Singh, saying that the matter was being looked into.
Kumar claimed that he had no knowledge about the controversy regarding Singh, who is considered to be close to former MLA Anant Kumar Singh, who was disqualified in July after being convicted in a case pertaining to the recovery of explosives and arms from his residence.
“The matter is being looked into. Whatever is needed will be done," the chief minister said.
On being asked about his meeting with RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said, "He and I go a long way back. We may have treaded separate paths for some time, but you all know the relationship we share."
'BJP Trying To Defame Govt, Have Nothing Better to Do': Tejashwi
Meanwhile, Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav said that the BJP had "nothing better to do" and was thus trying to "defame" the state government.
"The BJP is now left with nothing to do. It is also uncomfortable over Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's announcement on job creation in his Independence Day speech. So it is trying to defame us," the RJD leader said.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also termed the formation of a new government in Bihar a "positive sign" and said that he hoped that a strong alternative to the BJP could be formed ahead of the 2024 general elections.
"It (Bihar development) is a positive sign for the country's politics. Political allies are not happy with the BJP. See in Uttar Pradesh what they (BJP allies) are getting. One day they will also run away from them," Yadav was quoted as saying by PTI.
'All Options Open': RCP Singh When Asked if He Will Join BJP
On the other hand, former JD(U) president RCP Singh, who quit the party earlier this month, said that all options were open for him, including that of joining the BJP.
He also said that it was "certain" that the JD(U) will merge with the RJD, a claim that CM Kumar dismissed on Thursday.
"How many more times will he (Nitish Kumar) switch sides? He has already done that 4 times - in 1994, 2013, 2017 & 2022," Singh said.
(With inputs from PTI.)