Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday took a dig at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s vitality, saying he was “running out of steam” and had become “completely energyless”. Yadav said Kumar’s speeches during the Assembly elections campaign had been so tepid that people of Bihar have grown weary of the 69-year-old leader’s “tedious, boring and cliche” approach to politics.

“Respected Nitish ji has become completely energyless,” the RJD leader tweeted in Hindi. “His ripe, tedious, boring, stale and clichéd things have saturated the public. Tired Nitish Kumar is running away from reality, logic and facts.”

He also accused the Janata Dal (United) leader of ruining the present and future of crores of Bihari youth. Yadav added that after jeopardising their lives, Kumar was now “turning the stale pages of history”.

Yadav is the chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance in Bihar, which comprises of the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Left. The alliance had released its manifesto last week, in which it promised to provide 10 lakh jobs and scrap the Centre’s new farm laws.

In another tweet, Yadav contrasted Rashtriya Janata Dal’s politics with that of Kumar’s party. He said that while the chief minister was a man of “narrow and conservative thinking”, the Rashtriya Janata Dal stood for “broad, liberal and new thinking” as it believed in the vision of a “new Bihar”.

The RJD leaders comments drew sharp reactions from leaders of the ruling National Democratic Alliance, comprising Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party,

“Kumar is more energetic than many youths,” JD(U) state chief Basistha Narayan Singh said, according to PTI. “He works for 14-15 hours a day, which many youngsters will not be able to do.” Singh added that Yadav’s claim that Kumar was tired is bereft of any logic.

Bihar minister Sanjay Kumar Jha took a swipe at Yadav’s educational background, saying the chief minister was at least not a “class 9 fail like him”. “He is just making meaningless comments,” Jha added.

Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey too derided the comment, saying that NDA leaders always work with energy for the development of the state and the country.

Congress, RJD formed ‘radical syndicate’ with Jamaat-e-Islami and PFI: BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, accused the Congress of forming a “radical syndicate” with the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Popular Front of India, to support religious extremism in the country, PTI reported. The saffron party wondered if Congress’ ally Rashtriya Janata Dal too was a part of the alleged nexus.

Political group Jamaat-e-Islami has been banned by the Centre under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, while the PFI is an alleged radical group based out of Kerala that faces allegations of providing funds for protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged that the Congress had a tacit understanding with the Welfare Party, a political outfit of the Jamaat-e-Islami, and with the Popular Front of India. “For the greed of power, the Congress has formed this radical syndicate’ to support radicalism in the country,” Naqvi claimed while addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters on Sunday.

“We want to ask Tejashwi Yadav whether along with Congress, his party [RJD] has also made an understanding with Jamaat-e-Islami and other radical elements in Bihar,” the Union minister added. He said these are questions of national security and not politics.

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Naqvi also suggested the Shiv Sena, which has formed a government in Maharashtra in alliance with the Congress, could have similar ties with these organisations.

The BJP leader claimed that when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Wayanad in Kerala, people across the country were shocked to see more flags of Jamaat-e-Islami than of his party in the election rallies there.

The Union minister said that Gandhi “never misses a chance to meet the families of PFI members and those who were arrested by police for involvement in anti-national activities”. Naqvi was making an indirect reference to Gandhi’s recent meeting with the family of Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala who was arrested while on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh. Kappan, is alleged to have links with the PFI.