Media mileage won’t get Lalu far, says Nitish; questions RJD rally numbers
The JD (U) president and Bihar chief minister said circulating photoshopped images in the social media to present a rosy picture of the crowd strength at the August 27 RJD rally in Patna would do no good to Lalu.Updated: Sep 04, 2017 19:40 IST
Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday accused RJD chief Lalu Prasad of making all efforts to ruin him politically. However, it was thanks to the opportunity offered by ‘nature’ that he got to serve the people of Bihar again, he said.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of his weekly public feedback on governance programme ‘Lok Samvad’, Kumar said even though Prasad was a darling of the media these days, people hardly took any notice of him.
The CM’s outburst was apparently a reaction to the RJD chief’s ‘diatribe’ against the JD(U) leadership for denial of berth in the Union cabinet, which was expanded on Sunday, and his ‘tirade’ against the state government for its ‘failure’ to prevent floods.
Kumar said he was follower of Gandhi and Lohia and hence able to withstand all attacks. “If I keep on replying to the statements, will I have the time to fulfil my commitments towards Bihar?” he asked. He also dismissed the RJD’s ‘Desh Bachao, Bhajapa Bhagao’ rally here on August 2 as a ‘family festival’.
“There is no meaning of the crowd at the rally. I have seen the photoshopped pictures of the crowd and the real visuals”, said the CM, as he ridiculed the sequence of speakers at the RJD rally. “RJD legislators were completely sidelined,” he added.
Kumar said it was a flash flood that Bihar had witnessed. “It was caused by unprecedented rains in the catchment area of rivers, in Nepal. People of north Bihar claimed the scale of rain that lashed the area had not been seen in the last 90 years. I am busy helping the marooned people and officers are on the task to restore the infrastructure damaged due to flooding,” said the CM.
Claiming that scale of devastation was more than the previous floods, the CM hoped that the Centre would suitably compensate the losses, which ran into hundreds of crores of rupees. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited the flooded areas and instantly announcement Rs 500 crore help. It is not the last. We will submit the memorandum of demand as per the damages,” said Kumar.
Regarding the special financial help he was expecting from the Centre after establishment of an NDA government in the state, in July, when he jettisoned the grand alliance and joined forces with the BJP, Kumar said all departments were compiling comprehensive proposals to be submitted to the union government.
“We will meet the PM after the flood conditions improve. I hope for full cooperation from the Centre as we (JDU and BJP) are working for common goal of rapid development of Bihar,” said the CM.
The CM, however, parried a question as to why the government took four years to act against an ADM rank officer for her involvement in Rs 1,300 crore Srijan scam and what happened with the inquiry into the matter that was conducted by the cooperative department.
The CM said he brought the scam in public domain on July 9 soon after he received a brief about it on July 8, oblivious of the fact that the first FIR was lodged with Tilkamanjhi police station on July 7 (494/2017).
“No one who indulged in the scam would be spared as the CBI had taken up the probe. I have full faith, and those who don’t can approach the high court or the Supreme Court for its monitoring,” said Kumar, adding only the bosses of the departments concerned could give the details of the case.
First Published: Sep 04, 2017 19:40 IST