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Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi raked up controversy on Tuesday by accusing the Nitish Kumar government of being unable to check corruption in the state and admitting to have given bribe once.
While addressing development officers on Tuesday, Manjhi said “Despite rapid progress in Bihar under Nitish Kumar, corruption could not be tamed”. He also recounted an anecdote where he was pressured to pay a bribe to rectify an astronomical electricity bill. “The situation has reached a point of no return. If Manjhi as minister had to pay a bribe, then one can imagine the fate of the general public,” remarked state BJP chief Mangal Pandey.
Reacting to Manjhi’s statement, the BJP on Wednesday lauded the CM for his remarks but said that he would be unable to curb corruption. “What Manjhi has said on corruption is the reality in Bihar, but he can’t do anything to stem it as he is being largely controlled by Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad, who is considered to be the epitome of corruption,” remarked BJP leader and former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi.
Modi said Manjhi was helpless as his party had entered into an alliance with the RJD, which was responsible for “jungle raj” in Bihar. “Corruption is a non-issue in the present regime. As long as we were in the government, corruption was under control but soon after we parted ways, it flared up,” he said.
“Manjhi showed the mirror to his predecessor,” said leader of opposition in the state assembly Nand Kishore Yadav. “Now, Nitish Kumar has no moral right to give sermons on corruption,” he added.