In what is being described as a “self goal” in political circles, Bihar Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi Tuesday conceded that his party colleague Nitish Kumar failed to bring down corruption when he was CM. He also said that he had to pay a bribe to curtail his inflated electricity bill when Nitish was in power.
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Addressing a session of newly appointed block development officers (BDOs), Manjhi said, “It is true that a lot of development work was done under Nitishji’s rule. But corruption could not be brought down. Nitishji made sure that party workers became honest.”
He added, “Party workers say their stomachs remain empty while the officers’ paunches have been increasing.” Asking BDOs to act honestly, he recalled how even he had to pay a bribe to bring down his inflated electricity bill from
Rs 25,000 to Rs 5,000. “It is a different thing that I later got a raid conducted at the corrupt official’s house, from where crores of rupees were recovered. It underlines how deeply corruption is entrenched in the system,” the CM said.
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Manjhi’s statement comes at a time when Nitish has joined hands with RJD chief Lalu Prasad for the August 21 bypolls, with the alliance using “good governance” as a major election plank. Nitish refrained from reacting to Manjhi’s statements on Wednesday.