BJP turns heat on Nitish, asks him to break silence on future of Grand Alliance
As CBI raided RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s premises, on Friday, BJP leader Sushil Modi urged CM Nitish Kumar to drop his sons, deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and health minister Tej Pratap Yadav, from his ministry.india Updated: Jul 07, 2017 20:49 IST
Patna Close on the heels of fresh raids on Friday at places associated with the family of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, including his Patna residence, the BJP stepped up pressure on chief minister Nitish Kumar to break his silence on the future of the ruling grand alliance and immediately drop Prasad’s sons from his cabinet in the wake of the development.
“This is an acid test for Nitish Kumar. Whether he will drop deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and health minister Tej Pratap Yadav from his ministry or prefer not to take any action to save his chair, remains to be seen”, said senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, welcoming the CBI raids.
The raids clearly brought a sense of deja vu to Modi, who has been, for the last three months, single-handedly making ‘revelations’ to corner Prasad and his family, for allegedly acquiring assets worth over Rs 1,000 crore through ‘questionable’ means.
Modi, who was addressing a press conference, accompanied by party leaders Nand Kishore Yadav and Devesh Kumar, also credited Nitish Kumar, now CM, for first bringing into public domain, Lalu Prasad’s alleged complicity in handing over two railway hotels to Harsh Kochar, a co-accused, as part of a quid pro quo deal.
“Then, in August 2008, JD(U) state president Lallan Singh and party spokesman Shivanand Tiwari exposed the ‘benami deal’ for handing over two acres of prime land to RJD chief’s family via Prem Chand Gupta family owned Delight Marketing”, the BJP leader said.
In this context, the then JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav had led a delegation that met the Prime Minister to demand action in the matter. “Today, the company, re-named as LaRa (an acronym for Lalu-Rabri) Projects LLP, is building Bihar’s biggest mall on the said land in the state capital,” Modi said.
Even the state government had admitted before the Patna high court that the upcoming 12-storey mall, with a built up area of 7.07 lakh sq ft, 1,000 shops and a 5-star hotel, was being constructed illegally. “The matter has come full circle in 11 years,” Modi said.
He also rejected the RJD charge that CBI had been unleashed out of vendetta. The debate should centre on the merits of the case, instead of issuing one-liners, he argued. As for terming Prasad a “habitual offender”, Modi said, “it was Shivanand Tiwari, now an RJD leader, who had coined the term first.
State BJP president Nityanad Rai trained his guns on Prasad to question how a person, who is on record to have admitted he was unsure of having two square meals day in his early years, could come to acquire such huge assets.
“How could someone amass so much wealth, without resorting to corrupt practices,” he questioned, urging the chief minister to end the ‘unholy’ alliance with RJD, starting with the sacking of Prasad’s two sons from the cabinet if they refused to step down.
“Politics in the state is set for a new churn,” Rai said, hinting that the people were getting restless over the drift in governance.
Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar also chipped in to take a dig on Prasad for misusing his position in power for personal gains. “Our stand has been vindicated, Prasad and his family are corrupt,” he said.
Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that the law was taking its course and the chief minister would have to take a call on whether he would like to bear the burden of Prasad’s misdeeds for remaining in power or act as per demands of propriety.
Another BJP Union minister Giriraj Singh, asked the JD (U) chief to act as per his government’s zero tolerance policy against corruption.
In August 2008, JD(U) state chief Lallan Singh and party spokesman Shivanand Tiwari exposed ‘benami deal’ for handing over two acres of prime land to Prasad’s family via PC Gupta family owned Delight Marketing
Sushil Kumar Modi, senior BJP leader