Bihar remained in the news more for wrong reasons

Bihar remained in the news more for wrong reasons

Lalu Prasad

Call it a sheer coincidence but the year 2018 started on a sombre note with the CBI court awarding 3.5 years of jail sentence to Lalu Prasad in fodder scam in January and ended with Lalu getting bail in December in another scam (IRCTC scam).

More than Lalu’s legal wrangles, his son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav remained in the news as the RJD made a clean sweep in the bypolls held after Nitish Kumar deserted the Grand Alliance and Tejashwi holding the forte in the absence of his incarcerated father.


While Tejashwi made rapid strides on political front proving his acumen, his elder brother Tej Pratap presented a contrast picture. Presenting himself as a disciple of Lord Krishna and posing for the shutterbugs with his flute, Tej married Aishwarya Rai, not the famous lady from the Tinsel Town. This Aishwarya is grand-daughter of former Bihar Chief Minister Daroga Rai and her father Chandrika Rai was Cabinet minister in Nitish regime when Grand Alliance was in power.

Lalu was granted bail to attend his son’s grand wedding. From top politicians to bureaucrats to businessmen, everyone rubbed shoulders to mark their presence felt at the mega event. But it was arch-rival Nitish-Lalu hug which made lensmen jostle with each other to capture the moment.

Barring the photo-opportunity, the two regional satraps showed no sign of ending their animosity and Bihar thus forfeited another chance of political upheaval.

The shocking news, however, came when Tej filed a divorce petition in the family court within six months of the wedding.


Meanwhile, the State got a bad press when Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) submitted its report about the pathetic condition of shelter homes in Bihar. It particularly highlighted how more than 30 girls were sexually abused in Muzaffarpur shelter home. It’s owner and prime accused Brajesh Thakur was put behind bars. More heads rolled when Nitish ordered CBI probe into the shameful incident. Minister for Social Welfare Manju Verma quit Nitish Cabinet and was sent to jail after the CBI probe found that her husband Chandrashekhar Verma was in regular touch with Brajesh.

In the meantime, Bihar created a record of sorts when it formed 13,668 km-long human chain to spread awareness about two social evils: child marriage and dowry.

However, when Union minister Upendra Kushwaha formed a human chain to highlight poor education system in Bihar, not one NDA ally came out in his support. An embarrassed Kushwaha eventually got support from the RJD leaders who literally joined hands with him thereby setting the foundation of new alliance. Months later, Kushwaha quit Narendra Modi ministry, blasted Nitish for belittling him, and sang paeans to Tejashwi and Rahul Gandhi before joining UPA.


Meanwhile, Yashwant Sinha chose Patna to announce he was quitting BJP and taking sanyas (retirement) from active politics, although the former Union Finance Minister still minces no word in slamming Modi.

Amid all these melodramas, NCP MP and former Union Minister Tariq Anwar quit Sharad Pawar’s outfit (protesting Pawar praise for Modi) and rejoined Congress, his parent organisation.

In the meantime, the CBI, which is probing Rs 1500 crore Srijan scam in Bihar (where Government funds were swindled by NGOs), showed no sign of progress even though it continued with its raid on Lalu and his family in the IRCTC scam. Incidentally, all the three accused - Rabri Devi, Tejashwi and Lalu - got bail in a case in which the trio said they had no role to play.

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