Nitish Kumar is next in line, says BJP

The BJP on Monday exploited the fodder scam verdict to target friend-turned-foe Nitish Kumar, saying that his fate also hangs in balance as a  petition is pending before the Jharkhand High Court accusing him and his party colleague of benefiting from the scam.

The indictment of two Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leaders, former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and Rajya Sabha MP Jagdish Sharma, apart from Lalu Prasad Yadav, by a special CBI court in Ranchi on Monday has brought smiles on the faces of the BJP leaders.  They believe Kumar, who chose to remain silent after hearing the judgment, has now lost the moral high ground.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that two former chief ministers–Lalu and Mishra–are already behind bars and another one is also in the line as a PIL by Mithilesh Singh on the Rs 900-crore scam is before the Jharkhand High Court.
The court has directed the CBI to file an affidavit and the next hearing is on November 22. Dubbing it as a “sad reflection on Bihar”, the MP also said that “a third chief minister may be indicted”, hinting at Kumar.

Rudy refused to share details of the PIL and did not mention Kumar’s name despite repeated queries.

The BJP, which has now drawn draggers with the JD-U, did not raise the fodder scam trail which led to either Kumar or Rajya Sabha MP Shivanand Tiwari while they were in an alliance.

This despite the fact that the opposition party has been taking credit for unearthing the fodder scam as their own leaders, Sushil Modi and Sarju Rai, had raised the matter politically in undivided Bihar and later Ravi Shankar Prasad argued it in a Patna court and made a career out of it in the party. On a question whether the JD-U came close to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance also because of this case, Rudy said: “Possibly yes and possibly no. But whenever Congress has to be in power, it seeks support from the CBI.” 

The BJP said that it will have to see the CBI affidavit as the Congress has the “ability of submitting tampered affidavits” as they did in the coal scam, costing the then law minister Ashwani Kumar his job. According to reports, the PIL had alleged that the CBI did not probe evidence against Kumar and Tiwary which has now surfaced through a Right to Information petition.

The petitioner had charged that the fodder scam mastermind, Shyam Bihari Sinha, since dead, had paid Rs 1.4 crore to Nitish Kumar for elections and another Rs 5 lakh to Tiwary for his daughter’s wedding. The lower court did not entertained his petition.

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