Manoj Chaurasia / The Statesman
PATNA/NEW DELHI, 20 JULY: Even as the Nitish Kumar government remains under fire for allotting prime industrial lands to the kin of ministers, legislators, MPs and bureaucrats, it created further ripples today by advising the protesting Opposition to first deposit money as investigation charges before going ahead with a demand for a CBI investigation into the alleged “land scam”.The bizarre advice has come from none other than the social welfare minister in the government Mrs Perveen Amanullah, one of the beneficiary ministers in the NDA government whose daughter was allotted land. The minister happens to be the wife of water resources department secretary, Mr Afzal Amanullah. “CBI jaanch mein paisa kharch hota hai. Jaanch mein yadi kuchchha nahin nikala to kya vipachha paisa degi (It requires a lot of money in investigation by the CBI, and whether the Opposition will bear the expenditures incurred on investigation by the CBI)?” Mrs Amanullah asked while talking to the reporters today. She added that the government was ready to order a CBI probe if the Opposition agreed to bear the cost of investigation. Meanwhile, the issue rocked the Bihar House for the second consecutive day today with the angry Opposition hell-bent on seeking a CBI probe into the alleged scandal to bring out the truth. As the House Assembly for the day, the shouting Opposition members trooped into the well of the House carrying placards in hands which read “Zamin chor, gaddi chor” (land looters quit the throne) and “Bihar Sarkar sharm karo, Zamin ghotala band karo” (Bihar government shame, shame; stop land loot). The Opposition also sought immediate resignation of chief minister for alleged irregularities in the allotment of land by the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority to the relatives of ministers, ruling party lawmakers and high-profile IAS officials holding plum posts under the present regime. Despite repeated requests by the Speaker Mr Udai Narayan Chaudhary, the agitating members did not relent and continued shouting at the top of their voice seeking for a CBI probe, leading to frequent adjournments. “If there was nothing wrong in the allotment of industrial lands to the family members of ruling alliance leaders and bureaucrats, why then the government is shying away from a CBI inquiry?” asked the leader of Opposition in the state Assembly and senior RJD leader, Mr Abdul Bari Siddiqui. He added the state government had been quite quick in ordering a CBI inquiry in many cases in the past but here it was refusing to do that which raises a big question mark over its intention.Paswan meets President, demands CBI probe into Bihar land scamAmid the alleged Bihar land scam involving relatives of ministers and bureaucrats of the Nitish Kumar government, a delegation of the Ram Vilas Paswan-headed LJP today met the President Mrs Pratibha Patil here, demanding a CBI inquiry into the scandal and even the dismissal of the JD(U)-BJP government there. In a three-page memorandum submitted to Mrs Patil, the LJP named several ministers and a senior IAS officer, whose kin were allegedly allotted the BIADA land by the Bihar government. Besides alleging a rise in crime and corruption in Bihar, the LJP also condemned the killing of four Muslim youths in a police firing in Forbesganj over a land dispute last month.