Nitish sworn in; ED books Lalu, family
Soon after Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the sixth time, the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday registered a money laundering case against Lalu Prasad and his family members in a railway hotel allotment corruption case.
According to sources, ED registered the case soon after the miffed RJD chief on Thursday said he would appeal in the Supreme Court against Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi's decision to invite JD(U) president Nitish Kumar to form the government with support from the BJP.
The political observers are of the view that the haste with which Kumar took the oath is much enough to believe that all is not well within the JD(U).
"The chances of cracks appearing in the party is imminent as MLAs belonging to Yadav and Muslim communities are feeling cheated. They may not accept the new alignment with BJP and might take some 'unexpected' step. Some important JD(U) leaders such as Anwar Ali and Sharad Yadav have already expressed their displeasure over the new alliance," a political expert said.
"There are 16 MLAs - 11 Yadavs and five Muslims - who may upset the government formation arithmetic. As Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), an NDA ally which has two MLAs, is not keen to support Nitish, the floor test would not be a cakewalk for JD(U)," the expert said.
A little more than 12 hours after 66-year-old Kumar resigned to break ranks with his allies — Lalu Yadav's RJD party and the Congress- he was back in the office after being sworn in by Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at the Raj Bhawan.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi was also sworn in and will be the deputy chief minister.
The governor has asked Kumar to prove his majority on the floor of the House on Friday.
"Whatever decision we have taken will be in the interest of Bihar and of its people. It will ensure development and justice," Kumar told reporters after the swearing-in.
Nobody from the RJD or the Congress attended the swearing-in ceremony protesting the "denial of chance" to the RJD, the single-largest party in the state assembly, to form the government.
On RJD's claims that it has the numbers, JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi said, "They should stop making tall claims and if they really have the numbers, let them prove it in the floor test. We have our numbers and we will prove it."
The NDA alliance had submitted a list of 132 MLAs on Wednesday to the Governor. These include 71 of JD(U), BJP 53, RLSP two, LJP two, HAM one and three independents.
In the 243-member Bihar Assembly, the RJD has 80 MLAs, the Congress 27 and the CPI-ML has three.
Launching a scathing attack on Nitish for his "betrayal", Lalu said, "After creating a false image of being corruption-free, Nitish projected himself as a PM candidate. If I so desired, I wouldn't even have made him the chief minister, his party only had 71 MLAs."
"He (Nitish) had joined hands with us in the anti- communal fight, but Nitish Kumar, for his personal politics, joined hands with those against whom he had fought," said Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
According to sources, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to attend Lalu's 'BJP bhagao, desh bachao rally, which is scheduled on August 27. Mamata's will be present to show solidarity with the anti-BJP movement. More reports on P6