How could I be a criminal at 14? I didn’t even have a ‘mooch’ then: Tejashwi Yadav on CBI’s corruption case against him

Bihar_deputy_CM_Tejashwi

HIGHLIGHTS

  • This was Tejashwi’s first public comment on the CBI’s case against him
  • The case involves irregularities by his father from 2004-2009; Tejashwi would have been 15 then

NEW DELHI: Tejashwi Yadav wants to know how the BJP could think he was a criminal at the age of 14 when he hadn’t even started sprouting facial hair.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad‘s younger son was on Wednesday referring to a CBI case in which he’s been named. The case is to do with alleged irregularities+ – and a resulting payoff – in granting hotel maintenance tenders between 2004 and 2009 when Lalu was railway minister.

Tejashwi was born in 1989. That puts him at 15 years of age in 2004.

“They are bringing up cases of 2004 against me. How could I be a criminal at 13 or 14, I didn’t even have a ‘mooch’ then! How can a kid of that age do all these things they are saying?” asked Tejashwi, using the Hindi word for ‘moustache’, which rendered his comment almost as comical as some of his dad’s witticisms.

This was Tejashwi’s first public comment on the CBI’s case against him. It comes a day after his party’s coalition partner the JD(U) said that those accused of corruption should make public all “the facts in the public domain.”

Tejashwi is currently the deputy chief minister of Bihar in a coalition government formed from a ‘grand alliance’ of mainly Nitish Kumar‘s JD (U), Lalu’s RJD and the Congress.

“We know how to follow the coalition dharma, but we do hope that those facing allegations will put all the facts in public domain+ ,” said the JD(U) at a press conference on Tuesday, even as political circles are awash with rumor that the ‘grand alliance’ is in peril.

Tejashwi begged to differ.

” The alliance is strong and will not break+ . BJP will get a fitting reply,” he said on Wednesday.

Since last Friday, RJD chief Lalu has been rubbishing the corruption charges against him in the case filed by the CBI saying he is the target of a “BJP conspiracy”.

His son Tejashwi reiterated that sentiment today, adding to it the charge of casteism by the BJP.”This is a conspiracy by (Narendra) Modi and (Amit) Shah,” he said referring to the Prime Minister and the BJP’s president. “We are being punished for being from a backward caste,” the Bihar deputy CM added.

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