Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his ally-turned bete noir RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on Wednesday invoked Mahatama Gandhi to apparently fire salvos at each other. Addressing a function here to mark Earth day, Kumar said that besides giving the ‘Quit India’ call on August 9, 1942, Mahatama Gandhi had said that the earth is capable of fulfilling requirements of human beings but not their greed. “There is an urgent need to put a stop on growing tendency of greed,” he added.
Though he did not name anyone, it could easily be understood that the speech was as an attack against RJD President Lalu Prasad and his family on the series of corruption cases levelled against them. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who was sitting beside Kumar at the function, had levelled a series of charges against Lalu Prasad and his family for allegedly acquiring benami properties.
RJD President Lalu Prasad returned the barb to Kumar saying “Gandhiji had rightly said about greed … But political laalach (greed) is far more dangerous than corruption.”
Prasad, who was speaking at the official residence of his wife Rabri Devi, an MLC, said this while attacking Kumar for dumping the Grand Alliance government and joining hands with BJP to form a new government in Bihar. Kumar had in the past used the popular Hindi proverb ‘Kafan me jeab nahi hota’ (there is no pocket in a shroud) to condemn persons nourishing temptation due to which they indulge in corruption.
During his speech he also talked about illegal sand mining cases in which names of a few RJD leaders have come to the fore. He also mentioned about an alleged scam of Rs 250 crore at Bhagalpur where the amount was illegally withdrew from treasury.
Though the CM did not elaborate on the matter as an investigation is on into it, reports from Bhagalpur said that the scam is related to the withdrawal of cash from the district treasury in the name of a NGO which helps women in running small scale manufacturing of food items etc.
An FIR had been registered with Tilkamanjhi police station of Bhagalpur in this regard on the instruction of district magistrate Adhesh Titarmare. Not long after the CM talked about illegal withdrawal of Rs 250 crore from the Bhagalpur treasury, a team headed by Inspector General of Police (Economic Offence) G S Gangwar landed in Bhagalpur to speed up probe into the matter