Patna : The political crisis in Bihar deepened on Saturday with Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, facing CBI charges, skipping a government function attended by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who swapped his chair with a JD (U) minister after being seated next to an RJD leader.
The organisers initially covered the nameplate of Tejaswi, the special guest at the function whose seat was next to the chief minister’s, but later removed it. The function was held to mark the World Youth Skills Day.
Kumar, who was seated next to Labour Resources Minister and RJD leader Vijay Prakash, subsequently swapped his chair with JD(U) minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh, who was on his right. This was seen as an attempt by the chief minister to maintain a distance with the RJD minister.
The episode, which was captured in still as well as video cameras of the electronic media, gave an indication of how the acrimony between the two Grand Alliance partners was growing with every passing day in the wake of the CBI registering an FIR against Tejaswi and others in connection with a land-for hotels scam case.
The developments on the dais at the newly-built Gyan Bhawan here came a day after RJD chief Lalu Prasad rejected the possibility of his son Tejaswi putting in his papers, a move seen as being dismissive of the JD(U) putting pressure on the deputy chief minister to quit.
When the reporters bombarded the chief minister with questions on Tejaswi skipping the function, he only smiled and extended skill day greetings to the scribes. Labour Minister Vijay Prakash, who is from the RJD, said, “I do not know why Tejaswiji did not come to the function.”