Patna, November 05, 2017: In a vain bid to cancel out the impact of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s photo with hooch tragedy accused Rakesh Singh the Janata Dal (United) on Friday released an old picture of former deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav showing a young girl standing beside him. In their background is a bottle, presumably of beer or liquor.
But Tejashwi was quick to question the JD(U) as to what is wrong in this photo if a girl is standing beside him. He even attributed it to the character assassination of that girl who, according to him, might, by now, been married and have children.
However, the JD(U) spokesmen Sanjay Singh and Neeraj Kumar tried to give a new ‘colour’ to this photo.
Tejashwi questioned as to who were the two women in whose name two trains were christened when Nitish Kumar was the railway minister. He referred to Archana Express and Upasana Express.
RJD spokesman Shakti Yadav, while dubbing Tejashwi’s photo fake, warned the JD(U) of more sensational expose as they have stirred the Hornet’s nest. He repeated RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s earlier remarks that the JD(U) spokesmen are drunkards yet the police can not touch them.
According to political observers the release of Tejashwi’s photo by JD(U) has, instead of bailing out the chief minister landed him in deeper trouble as apparently having getting photographed with a girl beside is not a crime in its own; nor the presence of a bottle. If Tejashwi is to be believed this photo was perhaps clicked when he used to be a part of IPL.
Not only that, the JD(U) spokesmen asked as to why Tejashwi does not stay in Bihar Bhawan, but in a hotel whenever he goes to Delhi. They also charged Tejashwi and his father Lalu Prasad with being habitual drinkers.
“This is sheer stupid question as no politician is bound by any law to stay in Bihar Bhawan. After all Tejashwi does not only go to Delhi. Is there Bihar Bhawan everywhere?” commented an analyst.
The moot question in this whole photo controversy is that how a man involved in an infamous hooch tragedy, which led to the death of so many people in 2012, be honoured by the chief minister of the state on the plea that he had not taken any dowry for the marriage of his son. The said man, Rakesh Singh, was the block level president of JD(U). The party had immediately expelled him after the matter was raised by Tejashwi. The party has also sacked Ashok Sharma, the Bhojpur district president of JD(U) who brought Rakesh before the chief minister for this great honour.
“The big question is: whether the chief minister office had no intelligence inputs about Rakesh Singh and Ashok Sharma. Can Nitish or his party simply get scot free by saying that they were not aware of Rakesh Singh’s background?” asked a political commentator.
The whole issue has brought smile in the face of some BJP leaders as they see an opportunity in the mud-slinging between Nitish and Lalu. While leaders like C P Thakur had already questioned the chief minister’s campaign against dowry and child marriage, others like Nitin Navin, MLA, had hit JD(U) hard by accusing it of borrowing the saffron party’s agenda. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already launched campaigns like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao for improving the lot of girl child.
As the recent controversy cropped up only a couple of days after post-Chhath hooch tragedy in Kaimur district killing four, Nitish Kumar and his party are clearly a worried lot. Even a few months back the name of the Harnaut block (Nalanda district) president of JD(U) figured in the alleged recovery of 168 bottles of liquor. However, it was later claimed that a lower level excise department official had conspired against the JD(U) leader. No action was taken against JD(U) leader. Instead action was taken against the excise department official. This caused a lot of consternation in official and political circle.
Anyway it is the name of JD(U) functionaries–and not that of other political parties––which is figuring in the liquor racket. Besides, policemen are repeatedly being found involved in consuming and possessing liquor.
Herein lies the crux of the problem for the ruling NDA in Bihar.