Demonetization: Nitish Kumar changes stance, questions BJP silence on land purchase

New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday questioned BJP’s silence on the issue of “large-scale purchase of land” in the state ahead of demonetization and said if the matter comes before his government it will act on it. “The JD(U) has raised the question of large-scale purchase of land by BJP in Bihar ahead of demonetization for opening offices… BJP should answer from where they got this much of money for the purpose,” he told reporters after his newly- launched programme ‘Lok Samvad’.

Kumar’s party JD(U) has questioned BJP’s land purchase and has even demanded a CBI probe into it. Asked if the state government would act on a complaint of land purchase, he said, “The issue is raised by party and has not come to my level. But, if something comes, the registration department will certainly look into it.” On a question of reports of large flow of money in Jan Dhan accounts, particularly in Naxal-affected areas of Bihar, he said the matter concerns the central government and added, if any assistance was sought from the state it would provide it.

In reply to an another question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stress to convert the country into a cash-less economy, Kumar said “It can be an idea, but use of cash is part of people’s habit and total cashless is not possible.” He trashed as “bakwas” (baseless talk) of Union Minister of State Giriraj Singh advocating “nasbandi” (sterilisation) along with demonetization, for better result.

Kumar reiterated that he supported demonetization as a measure against black money, but emphasised “desired results will come only when it is coupled with a hit on benami properties including real estate, gold, diamond and prohibition”. He refused to comment on TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s oblique remark of “gaddar” (traitor) for his support to demonetization.

Kumar also congratulated Modi for winning the TIME magazine’s Person of the Year via online reader’s polls. He expressed sadness over the health condition of Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa and prayed for her early recovery.