Tejashwi drags Bihar minister's name in illicit liquor trade; Rai hits back

Tejashwi drags Bihar ministers name in illicit liquor trade; Rai hits back

New Delhi: A war of words has erupted in Bihar between the government and the Opposition over the issue of seizure of illicit liquor from a partly built school building situated on a property that belonged to the brother of the minister for land reforms and revenue Ram Surat Rai.

Alleging the involvement of the BJP minister Ram Surat Rai in the illicit liquor trade, Leader of Opposition and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday launched a frontal attack on the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar by claiming that the CM appeared "weak and helpless" and, therefore, unable to act against the perpetrators.

Yadav, who had on the previous day raised the issue inside the assembly, charged that he suspected "direct involvement" of the cabinet member Ram Surat Rai in the matter.

Showing a bunch of papers at a press conference in Patna, Yadav said, "Here are copies of the FIR and documents relating to the Arjun Memorial School of which the minister happens to be the founder while his brother is the vyavasthapak (manager). Anybody who cares can go and verify the facts."

The school, from where liquor was seized in November last year, is situated in Muzaffarpur and Rai is the MLA from Aurai assembly seat which is in the same district.

However, the Cabinet minister confirmed that the property from where the illicit liquor was seized belongs to his younger brother and the building is situated at 2 km away from their parental home.

"The primary school was in operation for the two years prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and was closed during the Covid period. Later on, the campus was rented out for running a coaching centre, to a private teacher, who was "lured" by his relative Dilip Kushwaha to handover the campus for some hours at a negotiated price of Rs 20,000 for an hour," Rai said.

"All persons, including a woman, involved in the illicit liquor trade were arrested on the spot with truckloads of prohibited items. In the FIR, it has been mentioned that the impounded truck belongs to me, which is false. We are not involved in it and the only truth about it is that the land belongs to my brother," he said.

"I challenge Tejashwi to get this matter probed through his own party workers and if any of my family members are found involved in it, I will resign else Yadav should resign from his post," the minister said.

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