Opposition BJP today dared “bechara Mukhya Mantri” (helpless Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar to act against the ruling party MLAs allegedly involved in criminal activities to make it clear that “rule of law is prevalent in Bihar”.
“Criminals have been emboldened after the secular alliance government of RJD, JD(U) and Congress came to power in the state. Many MLAs of ruling coalition have been booked for criminal activities but no action has been taken. Nitish Kumar has become a ‘bechara Mukhya Mantri’ in front of such elements,” senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told reporters.
“People were earlier afraid of RJD due to Lalu Prasad but now JD(U) MLAs have also started showing their muscle power freely,” the leader of opposition in Legislative Council said.
Modi’s comments came in the wake of a JD(U) MLA’s husband escaping from a police station as well as an FIR lodged against another JD(U) MLA Safaraz Alam for misbehaving with a couple on Rajdhani Express.
The first incident took place in Purnea where Awdesh Mandal, husband of JD(U) MLA Bima Bharti, escaped from Maranga police station lock up on Sunday night when Bharti and JD(U) MP Santosh Kushwaha were present in the police station. Mandal was arrested for allegedly threatening a murder case witness.
In the other incident, an FIR was lodged yesterday with Patna GRP against Alam, MLA from Jokihaat in Araria district, for allegedly abusing a couple on board Guwahati-Delhi Rajdhani Express last night.
Modi, who started his ‘Janata Darbar’ from today to hear complaints of people, dared the CM to act against these ruling party MLAs to back his claim that “rule of law is prevailing in Bihar’.
“It’s a litmus test for CM,” the BJP leader said.
Modi, however, differed with ally Hindustani Awam Morcha’s demand for imposition of President’s Rule in Bihar, saying “that phase has not yet come.”
He said a BJP delegation would soon meet Governor Ram Nath Kovind to seek his intervention to check rise in crime graph.
“We will request the Governor to give direction to state police chief to put a break on the sliding law and order situation,” he said.
The BJP leader, who was Deputy CM during the NDA rule in the state, expressed surprise that the state has cut such a sorry figure within two months of swearing in of the new government.
Modi said his party had decided not to speak against performance of the new government in Bihar till its “honeymoon period of 6 months” ended.
“But the fast deterioration of crime situation within two months forced us to break the silence,” he added.
Modi alleged that Nitish Kumar government was protecting Awdesh Mandal as well Sarfaraz Alam.
“Today Sarfaraz Alam came with defence that he was not travelling in the Rajdhani Express in which complaint of misconduct against a Delhi couple has been lodged. How come the name of a passenger who is said to be travelling without a ticket found in the reservation chart?” he asked.
The BJP leader said besides these two incidents, many such events involving RJD and JD(U) MLAs came into light.
He referred to the incident in which Gopalpur MLA Neeraj Mandal allegedly threatened a police office for stopping his vehicle from jumping the queue, and the alleged threat by RJD MLA Saroj Yadav to a police officer.
Modi alleged that investors are keeping away from Bihar after hearing about the spate of killing and criminal acts of ruling party MLAs.
“The number of people going for night movie shows has come down drastically (due to the law and order situation),” he claimed.
Modi said the state has been lagging in acting against criminals ever since JD(U) parted ways with the NDA in Bihar in 2013.
“Over 10,000 people were punished through speedy trial in 2010 during NDA rule which came down to 6,000 in 2014 when JD(U) was alone in the government,” he said.
Referring to RJD president Lalu Prasad’s recent assertions against putting “lunj-punj” (inefficient) policemen at key position, Modi questioned shunting of efficient IPS officers like Vikash Vaibhav and Shivdeep Lande.
“More than a dozen Superintendents of Police in the districts currently have crossed 55 years of age and are not in a position to run after criminals,” he said.