Where is Nitish Kumar’s conscience now, wonders Tejashwi Yadav

A report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO, says 22 of the 29 Ministers (76%) in the newly formed Nitish Kumar Cabinet face criminal charges. This is higher than the corresponding figure for his Cabinet during the previous “grand alliance” government with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), in which 19 of the 29 Ministers (69%) were tainted.

The ADR report was based on the affidavits filed by the candidates to the Election Commission.

Serious charges

Of the 22 Ministers, nine face serious criminal charges of murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, theft, fraud and atrocities against women. The report further says that 72% of the Ministers are millionaires, while nine had stated their educational qualifications to be between Class 8 and Class 12 pass.

Citing this report, the RJD leader and erstwhile Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, Tejashwi Yadav, while addressing presspersons at his residence in Patna, hit out at Mr. Kumar.

He wondered if Mr. Kumar’s conscience would now wake up and prod him to act against the tainted Ministers.

Mr Kumar had on July 26 broken away from the “grand alliance”, citing corruption allegations against Mr. Yadav. Subsequently, a new alliance of the JD(U) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was sworn in.

“Where is Mr. Kumar’s conscience? What kind of a conscience is it? Is it a conscience for the [CM’s] chair? Is it a conscience for Modi? What kind of conscience is this that falls asleep or wakes up as per its own convenience?” Mr Yadav said.

“Would Mr. Kumar do development with this 76% tainted Cabinet?”

Mr. Yadav also hoped that Mr. Kumar would ask the Prime Minister to disclose the names of political leaders that featured in the Panama papers.

“PMs of two countries have already resigned due to the Panama leaks. Names of BJP leaders and their sons have come up in the Panama papers. I hope Nitish Kumar would demand of the Prime Minister that he make all these names public,” he said, adding that he would soon start a “Vishwasghat Yatra (‘Betrayal Rally’) from Champaran and covering all the districts of Bihar.

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