Patna, Apr 21: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav on Wednesday, April 20 supported RJD chief Lalu Prasad's backing of Nitish Kumar as Prime Ministerial candidate but evaded a direct reply when asked who would be better choice for the post between Kumar and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.
Asked to comment that his father and RJD President Lalu Prasad has supported Nitish Kumar for the PM post, Tejaswi Yadav told reporters "Why not? He is honest and has a clean image."
Besides, being Chief Minister for five times he (Kumar) has been a minister at the Centre too, younger son of Prasad said.
"Why cannot a man with such a vast experience and a vision for the country be considered as 'PM material'?" he asked. When asked as to who would be a better Prime Ministerial candidate among Nitish Kumar and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Tejaswi Yadav evaded a direct answer and said the country would decide this. Prodded as to whom would RJD back for the PM post in future among the two, he said "a decision would be taken when time for it comes."
"Why to make this an issue now...when time for it will come a detailed discussion would be held and a decision taken by the party," the Bihar Deputy CM said. RJD President had yesterday supported Nitish Kumar's call for "sangh-mukt" country and appeal to non-BJP and RSS parties to unite. Prasad had also backed Kumar for PM post.
Tejaswi Yadav refuted BJP's allegation that Lalu Prasad was backing Nitish Kumar for PM post solely with an intent to pave way for him (Tejaswi) to become the Chief Minister.
"It's baseless assertion. We have got a huge mandate in Bihar to which the government is committed and hence we can not be diverted through such issues," Tejaswi Yadav, who is also RJD Legislature party leader in the state Assembly, added.
Asked if the efforts of merger of old Janata Parivar splinter parties would be revived, Tejaswi Yadav said party would decide such things as he was not authorised for it.
"It's an issue of future. First, secular parties should come on one platform," he said.
"RJD and JD(U) approach and ideology is one and we are happy over the coalition we have today," he said.
Tejaswi Yadav rubbished specution of "tussle" between RJD and JD(U) due to which he did not attend Cabinet meeting recently.
"Besides, participating in Cabinet meetings we sat together during recently concluded budget session of Assembly," he added.