RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has reacted to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s order making “defamatory and offensive” comments on social media against the government a cybercrime offence, by making “defamatory and offensive” comments on social media against the government.
On Friday morning Tejashwi flouted the new order by launching a no-holds barred attack against the CM on Twitter. He called Nitish the “Bhishma Pitamaha of corruption”, adding that the CM “is the perpetrator of 60 scams, the protector of criminals and the weak chief of an immoral and unconstitutional government”.
He also accused the Bihar police of selling liquor and challenged the chief minister to arrest him. The cricketer-turned-politician, who does not mince his words when it comes to taking on the ruling party, added that the CM’s latest move makes him comparable to Hitler.
“Protesters cannot protest. Jail for those who write against the government. People are not allowed to take their complaints to the opposition leader,” Tejashwi wrote.
“Nitish ji, we know you are completely tired, but have some shame,” he posted, along with a letter written by the chief of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), IG Nayyar Hasnain Khan. Bihar’s EOW is the agency in charge of cyber crimes.
Khan had recently written to all the secretaries of the state government to report any “defamatory, wrong” posts against ministers, MPs, MLAs or officials. “It has come to light that certain persons and organisations have been making such offensive comments on social media…This is against prescribed law and comes under the category of cyber crime,” Khan said in his letter, reported NDTV.
Also read: Bihar polls: Tejashwi Yadav promises 10 lakh jobs if RJD voted to power
The new order comes against the backdrop of the CM’s increasing irritation with negative comments from his critics, particularly from Bihar’s young opposition leader.
Just two months ago, the two sparred on the floor of the Bihar assembly, with Tejashwi launched a blistering attack on the CM, even accusing him of being scared of having a girl child. Tejashwi, who refers to the CM as paltu chacha (turncoat), also often mocks him about being tired, a reference to his age.
The animosity between the two, with Nitish assuming the aggrieved tone of an elder being disrespected by a political upstart, reached a new low when the two traded charges against each other. This was during a debate on the governor’s address in the assembly session.
In an hour-long diatribe against the CM, Tejashwi raked up an old comment made by Nitish during the assembly elections about people siring seven to eight children to ensure a male child, reportedly a reference to Lalu Prasad Yadva, Tejashwi’s father. So Tejashwi taunted Nitish for having just one son. “Could we apply the same yardstick and say he did not have another child for fear that it could be a girl?” he said. His statement was condemned by the ruling NDA leaders.
However, the political scion also mentioned old cases against the CM, which included a murder case and the Srijan scam being investigated by the CBI. Nitish denied the accusations and challenged the chair of the assembly to verify them and take necessary action.
Also, he reminded Tejashwi of the past and how he was the one who had once made him the deputy CM and his father the CM.
In the Bihar Assembly elections last year, the NDA scraped past the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan to retain power.
Led by Nitish, the ruling coalition clinched 125 seats in the 243-member House against the 110 secured by Tejashwi’s Grand Alliance.
But the elections also showed that Tejashwi, who formally entered politics in 2015, when he won the Raghopur constituency seat in the assembly elections, had emerged as a force to reckon with. From his promises to eradicate unemployment, to his direct attacks on Nitish, Tejashwi has tried to position himself as a strong opposition leader.