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Patna : The brute majority it got in November 2015 Assembly elections notwithstanding, the Grand Alliance government headed by Nitish Kumar finds itself on a sticky wicket in the wake of recent expose on land deals of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad’s two sons, both ministers, and daughter Misa Bharti, MP, and Lalu’s alleged telephonic conversation with jailed controversial former Siwan RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin. That apart, the Supreme Court recently ordered for Lalu’s trial in a few more fodder scam cases.
Obviously, CM Nitish Kumar must not be happy with these recent development as he had long back announced zero tolerance on corruption. He will find the task of uniting the opposition on Presidential poll a little bit difficult now. But, his silence on land deals of Lalu’s family members speaks volume of his discomfiture over the issue. But, there is a silver lining too to these recent developments as well. With his back to the wall, Lalu will no longer will be able to interfere in the functioning of the government at least for the time being.
The BJP on May 12, 2017, urged the central government to order a probe one such land deal at Bijwasn in Delhi. Union minister IT and Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on May 12 alleged that these transactions were a case of `quid pro quo’ as they date back to the period when Lalu was the railway minister in UPA government. Lalu’s official residence was the address of the owners of the firm allegedly floated by his family members, Prasad alleged.
Prasad dared Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to take action against Lalu. The RJD is a major constituent of the Grand Alliance government with 80 members in 243 member Bihar assembly. The JD(U) has 71 members while Congress has 27 members in the state assembly. The NDA has 57 members in the assembly. He also urged the Election Commission to take action against Misa Bharti alleging she had not disclosed the details of these assets in her Rajya Sabha poll affidavit.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi has alleged that the construction of the biggest shopping Mall in Bihar near Danapur, Patna, spread over 7.5 lakh sq feet belonging to Lalu’s family members was started without getting clearance from Environment and Forest ministry. Apart from some senior RJD leaders, not a single JD(U) and Congress leader has defended Lalu. Meanwhile, the law and order situation has also deteriorated across the state during the past few months while liquor is being smuggled into the state with impunity despite prohibition enforced in April 2016.