BJP asks Nitish to end tie-up with Lalu, RJD says CBI an alliance partner of Modi | india-news | Hindustan Times
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BJP asks Nitish to end tie-up with Lalu, RJD says CBI an alliance partner of Modi

The RJD says the Modi government is trying to browbeat the opposition. The BJP asks Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to end alliance with Lalu Prasad

india Updated: Jul 07, 2017 20:39 IST
Ruchir Kumar
CBI and police officials outside RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s residence in Patna on Friday morning.
CBI and police officials outside RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s residence in Patna on Friday morning.(AP Dube/ HT photo)

The BJP on Friday asked Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to end his alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal after an early morning CBI raid on RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s home and 11 other places in yet another corruption case.

The RJD in turn accused the Modi government of trying to browbeat the opposition and framing Prasad, saying the party would not be cowed down.

“The Centre is trying to scare us, but I assure you we will not be cowed down by such actions. We will fight it out at the legal and political level and emerge victorious,” RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said.

He said Friday would go down as one of the darkest days in history. “Suddenly these agencies have become new alliance partners for the BJP and they are using it,” Jha said.

The RJD is a senior partner in the ruling coalition led by Kumar’s Janata Dal (United). The Congress is the third ally.

“The (CBI) action being taken is outside the party purview, so I would not like to comment on it... But yes, it is high time Nitish Kumar sever ties with the RJD,” BJP’s Bihar president Nityanand Rai said.

Kumar’s JD (U) used to be part of the BJP-led NDA before he walked out in 2013 after Narendra Modi was named the prime ministerial candidate.

Kumar’s ties with alliance partners are strained at the moment. He has broken ranks with the opposition to back the NDA’s presidential pick Ram Nath Kovind, setting off a war of words with the Congress and the RJD, who asked him to reconsider his position.

Union minister Giriraj Singh asked Kumar to break his silence and clear his stand on his alliance with the RJD.

Kumar, who talks of good governance and zero tolerance towards crime, cannot remain a mute spectator anymore, he said.

Friday’s raids were carried out at 12 locations in five cities a day after the CBI filed cases against Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and son and deputy Bihar chief minister Tejashwi, among others.

The CBI is examining possible irregularities in the awarding of contracts to private firms to operate railway hotels, including two BNR hotels in Ranchi and Puri, when Prasad was the rail minister in the Manmohan Singh government. The agency is looking at whether Prasad and his family benefitted from them.

The action came on the day Prasad was in Ranchi in neighbouring Jharkhand to appear in a fodder case, which involves large-scale embezzlement of government funds.

The 69-year-old leader was in 2013 found guilty in one of the fodder cases and had to step down as a member of Parliament. He also stands barred from electoral politics. Though he has challenged the verdict, early this month the Supreme Court ordered a fresh trial in a third fodder case.

His family, too, is battling similar charges.

The income tax department recently searched 22 locations in New Delhi and adjoining areas in connection with corruption charges against his daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar, who were also questioned.

Tejashwi and his elder brother, Tej Pratap, who is the state’s health minister, are also accused of corruption.

with agency inputs