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This kid is everything to me: Nitish drops fresh hint of passing mantle to Tejashwi

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday dropped a fresh hint that he was looking forward to passing the mantle to his deputy Tejashwi Yadav.

The JD(U) leader had last year said that the young RJD leader would ‘lead’ the state’s ruling Mahagathbandhan when Bihar would face its next assembly polls in 2025.

This had ruffled some feathers in the JD(U) and led Upendra Kushwaha, the parliamentary board chief, to quit alleging that the chief minister had entered a ‘deal’ with arch-rival Lalu Prasad, the RJD supremo, while allying.

When recent remarks about ‘personal friendship’ with leaders in the BJP led to speculations of yet another volte-face, Kumar vehemently denied the same.

Talking to reporters, with Yadav by his side, Kumar put his arm around the shoulder of his deputy and said, “Now this kid is everything to me.”

The gesture became a topic of discussion in the state’s political circles.

When journalists sought the comments of Akhilesh Prasad Singh, the state Congress chief, he said “I do not think there is anything surprising in what the chief minister has said”.

He added: “Please remember that the chief minister has made it clear in the past that he would like Tejashwi to lead the charge in the next elections. The young leader has already proved his mettle, having spearheaded a spirited campaign in 2020 when the Mahagathbandhan came within striking distance of a victory”.

State BJP president Samrat Choudhary, whose party was dumped by Kumar last year, did not seem impressed.

“I am many years younger to Nitish Kumar. I too am a bachcha (kid) before him. Hence no issues if he calls Tejashwi his bachcha. But those who think it indicates succession must remember it is for the people of Bihar to decide. And the public has made up its mind to elect a BJP government next time since they have had enough of Lalu and Nitish,” claimed Choudhary.

(Published 21 October 2023, 17:08 IST)

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