PATNA: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Monday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his bagging the online reader’s poll for TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, but said only demonetisation would not end corruption and that it should be followed up by raids on benami property.
Kumar’s party JD(U) upped the ante on BJP over the latter’s purchase of several parcels of land in Bihar allegedly in violation of rules and taking illegal advantage of the demonetisation move.
“I supported demonetisation because the government said it was a part of its drive against corruption and black money. But demonetisation alone will not yield any significant impact. It should be followed immediately by raids on benami property,” said Kumar at the end of the ‘Lok Samvad’ programme.
The JD(U) national president said by benami properties he did not mean only land and houses held by proxy. “Benami properties include other assets such as gold and diamond possessed by people,” he added.
‘Lok Samvad’ is a weekly programme started by Kumar’s three-party alliance government to have a dialogue with the people on specific issues of governance. Kumar previously used to hold ‘janata ki durbar’ weekly programme to hear people’s grievances. That programme stopped in May after Kumar enforced a law that guarantees availability of several services to the people in a time-bound manner.
JD(U) leaders attacked BJP, saying documents on the purchase of land parcels indicate that cash was tmode of payment in certain cases and that some of the purchases were made in violation of the rules. “We have gathered the documents that prove our allegations. These people (BJP) have tried to be clever, but they have failed,” said JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.
Newly appointed BJP state president Nityanand Rai, however, defended his party’s purchase of land parcels in several districts in Bihar and said that no rule was violated by BJP. “They are levelling baseless charges against BJP,” said Rai.