Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a blistering attack against rivals Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad over a sting video of a senior JD-U minister allegedly accepting bribe, saying they have “no shame” and accused them of “insulting” JP’s legacy of fighting corruption.
Addressing back-to-back election rallies in Jehanabad and Bhabhua, Modi said leaders of the grand alliance are “scared” and flayed them for approaching Election Commission to halt the live telecast of his meetings today, when the first phase of the assembly poll is underway.
In a huge embarrassment for the Nitish Kumar government, just a day before the first phase of polls, a sting video surfaced yesterday showing senior minister Awadhesh Prasad Kushwaha purportedly accepting bribe after which he had to resign.
Referring to the incident, Modi said what was worse that it happened on the birth anniversary of the socialist icon. “This was done by those who used to stake claim to JP’s legacy. Such insult to JP should have never been done.”
Modi said,”Such leaders have committed the sin of reducing Bihar’s honour to dust.”
“In the sting he (Awadesh) says there are five ministers (who would benefit from alleged bribe). Name those five ministers. Two more have been caught committing the sin but their leader does not feel bad about it. He does not feel bad about this sin or ‘jungle raj’ or corruption.
“Can Bihar be allowed to go into the hands of people, who have become shameless, to those who are not ashamed of such money transactions? There is something called shame in public life due to which even if somebody is caught committing a sin, he sits back at home. But here he is strutting,” he said, attacking RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Political circles in Bihar are abuzz with two more possible exposes in the pipeline, both involving RJD leaders.
In the video, the audio quality of which is not good, Kushwaha has been shown reportedly saying that a Mumbai firm wants to help some like-minded ministers in these elections and expects favours from them in return.
Linking the incident to Nitish Kumar’s alliance with the RJD chief, Modi said,” As long as the BJP was a part of the government, there was no such sting, no such corruption. But ever since he (Kumar) joined hands with that ‘great’ man, who has expertise in such things, all of this has begun.”
The Prime Minister also smelt a “conspiracy” and asked Election Commission to keep a special vigil in Bhabhua, which is close to his Parliamentary constituency Varanasi. The district authorities had earlier denied permission for Modi’s rally at Bhabhua but later granted it after Election Commission intervened.
“I am seeing some plan of conspiracy and this is a serious matter,” he said, without elaborating.