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The Hindu
The Hindu
Amarnath Tewary

CBI charge sheet against Lalu Prasad, family | There’s nothing in the case, says Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on October 8 came forward to defend alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members after investigating agency CBI filed charge sheet against 16 accused persons, including Mr. Prasad and his family members, in alleged land-for-job scam.

Mr. Kumar also expressed unhappiness over Urban Local body elections in Bihar termed as “illegal”.

The Chief Minister further slammed poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s claim that he [Mr. Kumar] had recently offered him to lead his party. “ Hum nahi bulaye the, apne aaya tha (I’ didn’t call him, he had come on his own)”, Mr. Kumar said on his recent long meeting with Mr. Kishor at his official residence 1, Anne Marg.

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“I’ve seen everything. There is nothing in the case. It happened only because we’ve (JD-U and RJD) come together again. What happened five years ago...they found nothing but they do whatever they feel like, what can we do?”, said Mr. Kumar when media persons asked him about CBI filed charge sheet against his ally Lalu Prasad, his family members and others in land-for-job scam when he [Mr. Prasad] was Railway Minister.

The investigating agency CBI on September 7 had filed charge sheet against RJD president Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, their daughter Misa Bharti and 13 others in land-for-job scam. The CBI had filed FIR in the case on May 18.

Mr. Prasad and his family members are accused of getting more than one lakh square feet of land allegedly by those who sought job in railways.

Mr. Kumar further expressed his unhappiness over Patna High Court terming the Urban local body elections in Bihar as “illegal”.

The Patna High Court recently had said that the polls would be held “only after re-notifying the seats reserved as those of general category”.

“It is very sad that Urban local body polls are not held. But it was in practice since 1978 and I had included Extremely Backward Classes too in the reserved category in 2006 and then BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi was the State’s Deputy Chief Minister”, Mr. Kumar said.

“They [BJP] do not want reservation for backward people”, Mr. Kumar added. JD(U) is likely to challenge the Patna High Court Order in apex court either on Monday or Tuesday.

When asked about poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s recent outburst against him during his ongoing 3,500KM padyatra (foot march) across the State, Mr. Kumar refuted that he had offered him a party post in a recent meeting.

Hum nahi bulaye the, apne ayya tha (I didn’t call him, he had come on his own)”, Mr. Kumar said on his recent meeting with Mr. Kishor for more than an hour at his official residence 1, Anne Marg.

A few days after the meeting, Mr. Kishor said he was offered by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to “lead his party” in the meeting but he refused.

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“It’s false. Let him speak whatever he wants, we’ve nothing to do with it. Once he told me to merge my party with the Congress” Mr. Kumar said while throwing guffaw on his face. “He has now gone to the BJP and is acting on their behalf”, Mr. Kumar quipped.

Mr. Kishor had joined JD(U) as national vice-president in 2018 and Mr. Kumar had introduced him before media persons as “future of Bihar”. However, later, he was expelled from the party over issues of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“After losing the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he [Mr. Kumar] met me in Delhi and begged for help. I assisted him winning 2015 Assembly polls in the State as Chief Ministerial candidate of mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). And today, he has the audacity to offer gyan [wisdom] to me”. Mr. Kishor said recently while addressing a public meeting during his padyatra (foot march) across West Champaran district.

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