The ongoing tussle between Bihar's ruling allies RJD and JD(U) sharpened on Saturday with Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav not attending a government event in Patna.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar however attended the event as scheduled. The occasion, taking place at Gyan Bhawan in Patna, was the celebration of the first anniversary of the 'Kushal Yuva Karyakram' focusing on the government's digital initiatives.
While Tejashwi was a guest of honour at the event, his nameplate was found to be covered up at first and then the cover was removed but he was not to be seen anywhere.
This was the first public function where both the leaders were supposed to appear after the widening political rift between the JD (U) and RJD.
Tejashwi 's absence in the function could be linked to growing pressure on RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members to come clean on the alleged corruption charges against them.
Yesterday, JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar on Friday referred to the allegations by the opposition BJP that Lalu's family members had acquired benami properties at various places in the country.
"They (Lalu's family members) should explain the source of the massive property and money as questions have been posed to them by the opposition," Times of India quoted Neeraj Kumar as saying.
Reports suggest that RJD chief Lalu Prasad defended his younger son Tejashwi Yadav saying he will not resign because FIR is not a sufficient reason.
"Tejashwi will not resign. There is no question of his resignation," Lalu Prasad told the media here after holding a nearly three-hour-long meeting with senior party leaders and legislators at his official residence.
(With agency inputs)