RSS accuses Nitish of Rs 2000 crore bungling: New book aims corruption charges at Bihar CM as state Assembly polls turn bitter

The RSS-affiliated ‘Shikhsha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas’, led by right-wing educationist Dinanath Batra, has launched a book that claims a scam took place when Nitish was the Union Agriculture Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government during 1998-99.

RSS accuses Nitish of Rs 2000 crore bungling: New book aims corruption charges at Bihar CM as state Assembly polls turn bitter 
New book claims a scam took place when Nitish was the Union Agriculture Minister in Vajpayee's government
JD (U) has questioned both the truth and timing of the allegations
Bihar is in the middle of its Assembly polls, with three more phases to go 

In a last-ditch attempt to turn the tables on Mahagathbandhan leader Nitish Kumar in the battle for Bihar, the RSS has accused the state’s chief minister of financial bungling worth Rs 2,000 crore. 

The book, titled Bhrashtachar Ka Bolbala (Rampancy of Corruption), is a personal account of two-time President’s award winner and former assistant director general of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Sadachari Singh Tomar. 

Nitish Kumar is accused of having a hand in the embezzlement of money meant for two World Bank-funded projects worth Rs 2,000 crore in 1998- 99

Tomar claims he took up the role of a whistleblower to expose Nitish, who he alleges had a hand in the embezzlement of money meant for two World Bank-funded projects worth Rs 2,000 crore in 1998- 99. 

The projects were reportedly meant for modernisation and computerisation of the agricultural sector. 

The book has been endorsed by the Right Wing, with Batra and Yoga Guru Ramdeva contributing to it. The foreword was written by noted anti-corruption activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan. 

Reacting sharply to the allegations, JD (U) spokesperson KC Tyagi questioned not just the veracity of the claims, but also the timing of the release of the book. 

“The BJP will see in Bihar the same results that it saw in Delhi. I categorically reject and condemn such an effort by the BJP and the RSS. This is part of their long-standing strategy of defamation and character assassination. This proves they have lost all hope and are out of issues to take on Nitish Kumar. Such attempts only show their desperation,” he said. 

Agricultural centres 

“The two projects were meant for modernising and computerising 437 agricultural centres in the country. The first National Agricultural Research Project of Rs 1000 crore was sanctioned in 1995 and the second National Agricultural Technological Project of equal funding was sanctioned during 1998-99. On visiting the centres, I found that the computer terminals and other equipment were still lying packed. On unpacking we discovered all purchases were substandard,” Tomar told Mail Today. 

Tomar claimed in his book that he blew the whistle on the alleged irregularities as a member of the project management committee and was victimised for this after Nitish Kumar took over as the agriculture minister. 

“Nitish Kumar and my superiors who he patronised harassed me as I had collected evidence of their involvement in the bungling of funds. Kumar protected them in the face of several inquiries. When I complained to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, the then agriculture secretary was relieved from his post, but he came back within 40 days as another inquiry initiated against him exonerated him,” claimed Tomar. 

“The then PM Atal Behari Vajpayee was in the know of things,” Tomar claimed. 

Tomar said he was bogged down by seven inquiries initiated against him. 

“None of them could establish any wrong doing on my part. Then, as a last resort, and that too illegally, I was terminated. All, at the behest of Kumar. Even the CBI that was ordered to probe the matter ignored the evidence I provided,” Tomar said. 

“I moved the high court which ruled against me as the case went on for 11 years. My lawyer Prashant Bhushan asked for five minutes in court, but he was denied even that. Then we moved the Supreme Court which in 2013 gave me relief. It found the charges against me baseless and reinstated my pension,” Tomar said. 

Later, Tomar dug up his case by way of RTI applications. 

“I was shocked to find that the CBI had not even looked at the body of evidence running into 1,066 pages that I had presented. I had also filed a PIL in Delhi High Court after which feathers were ruffled and some officials complicit in the bungling were given voluntary retirement to hush up the matter,” Tomar said. 

Tomar, meanwhile, had moved from ICAR to Indian Agricultural Research Institute in Pusa. 

“The biggest incrimination of Nitish Kumar and my vindication is that I spent 5 years in Pusa researching the state of the two projects in India and presented my findings. These were accepted after number of peer reviews. I proved that Kumar presided over  the scam,” Tomar alleged. 

Tomar claimed to have put all these details and the RTI findings in the book. 

“I have incorporated all the evidence and acts of omission that happened at Kumar’s behest. I have included the RTI information too,” he said. 

In another startling revelation, Tomar alleged to Mail Today that RSS stalwart and social worker Nanaji Deshmukh also knew of the scam.

“We had installed computer systems and networking hardware at Nanaji’s Chitrkoot camp. But the equipment was substandard,” Tomar said. 

Tomar said Nanaji fell out with PM Vajpayee over this issue. 

“Nanaji tried to take my case to Vajpayee as he was convinced of the scam. When he arrived at Vajpayee’s residence he was not allowed audience. That was the day he had told me: ‘I will never enter his house’. And he never did,” said Tomar.

'Tantra-mantra is an insult to democracy' 

By Giridhar Jha in Saran 

Taking a dig at the reported meeting of Nitish with a tantrik, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that democracy did not run with tantra-mantra. 

“This reflects the 18th century mindset in the 21st century,” he said. 

“This is an insult to the democracy which had taken its roots for the first time in the world in Vaishali in Bihar.” 

Mocking Lalu’s claim that he was the biggest tantrik in the world, Modi said that the opportunistic grand alliance did not merely consist of three partners (JD(U), RJD and Congress) but also had a fourth player in the form of a tantrik. 

“The way Lalu ji talks about black pigeon, white pigeon and what not, the RJD should be known as the Rashtriya Jadutona Dal (national black magic party.)” 

Accusing Nitish and Lalu of being insensitive towards the poor, Modi said that the chief minister refrained from visiting the village where children from the underprivileged sections of society had died in the mid-day meal tragedy a couple of years ago. 

“He did not visit the hospital where some of them were being treated. In fact, he even feigned injury of his toe when the issue was raised in the media,” the PM said. 

Modi’s 6-point formula for Bihar's growth 

By Giridhar Jha in Saran/Hajipur 

Holding Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad squarely responsible for the underdevelopment of Bihar over the past 25 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday offered his formula for the all-round progress of the state. 

Addressing as many as four rallies at Marhaura (Saran), Hajipur, Nalanda and Naubatpur (Patna) three days before the crucial third-phase polling in Bihar, Modi said that his party had a six-point formula to propel the state on the fast-track of development if the NDA was voted to power. 

“Our agenda for the state is bijli (electricity), paani (water) and sadak (roads),” he said. 

“As for the families, we will ensure padhai (education), kamaai (employment) and dawaai (healthcare for elders).” 

Modi said his party had a six-point formula to propel the state's development if the NDA was voted to power

Dubbing the grand alliance of the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress as a veritable symbol of dambh (arrogance), daman (oppression) and dagaa (betrayal), he said that these parties had ruined Bihar in their respective 60-year-long reign and the time had come to teach them a lesson in the ongoing polls. 

“I have mustered courage to talk about development in this election but they remain busy trying to denigrate me all the time” Modi said. 

“But the more they sling the mud on me the more lotuses bloom in Bihar,” he said, referring to the election symbol of the BJP. 

Hitting back at the criticism of Nitish and Lalu that the people of Bihar did not need a baahri (outsider) like him to run the state, Modi asked as to who was responsible for forcing the Bihari youth to leave their villages in search of livelihood and become outsiders elsewhere. 

“Lalu and Nitish must explain who has made these youths outsiders in other states,” he said, while exhorting people to elect a government that could check the migration of its talented work force. 

The Prime Minister said that the places such as Saran district were known for its chocolate factory and sugar mills, but all the industries later closed down for want of electricity. 

“May I know who are responsible for the closure of those factories which once provided employment to the local youths?” he asked. 

On the pulses issue, he accused the Nitish Kumar government of deliberately creating the crisis for electoral reasons. 

Addressing a rally at Hajipur, Modi asked Nitish to explain as to why his government had not conducted raids on the hoarders to seize pulses from them in the state. 

“In the rest of the country, 72,000 tonnes of pulses have been recovered in the course of raids on the hoarders,” he said. 

“Bihar is the only state where this has not been done because of the polls.” 

Alleging that those who had set their eyes on the fodder were now eyeing the pulses, he warned the hoarders to mend their ways. 

BJP backs job quota to ensure win 

By Kumar Vikram in Vaishali and Siddhartha Rai in New Delhi 

BJP chief Amit Shah has deployed about a dozen ministers and senior leaders for the two phases of polls

Sunday was a day of making amends for the BJP. The prime minister tried to allay apprehensions regarding the BJP’s views on caste-based reservations, albeit indirectly. 

In an obvious reference to which class he was talking to, he made an attempt to appropriate Dalit icon BR Ambedkar in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme. 

He declared that Ambedkar’s London house was now Indian property and that it had been converted into a memorial. 

In the 13th edition of the monthly programme, Modi tried to reassure the economically weaker sections, mentioning that state and central governments were providing scholarships to tribal and backward communities. 

Apprehensive that it could do some damage, the Grand Alliance cried hoarse as the PM also announced the abolition of interviews in Group B, C and D non-gazetted posts in the central government. 

JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi accused the PM of making way for implementing the vision of the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who had called for a review of the policy of quota. 

The Saffron brigade looks concerned as the state is headed for third and fourth phases of polling in next few days. The main challenge is to remove the confusion over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's statement on reservation. 

To undo the damage, the party has fielded its foot soldiers to make people understand its views on reservation. 

BJP chief Amit Shah has deployed about a dozen ministers and senior leaders for the two phases of polls, which is crucial for the party. 

Union ministers, including Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Ram Kripal Yadav, Radha Mohan Singh, have been given separate charge of districts and have been asked to camp in districts to closely monitor the ground level management. 

Party workers in Vaishali said that Bhagwat’s statements suggesting a review of the reservations has gone against the party in the first two phases of polling. 

“Caste has always played significant roles in Bihar politics. Youths are highly dependent on caste-based reservations, for everything, whether it is admission in colleges or jobs or benefits of government schemes,” said a party worker in Vaishali. 

Following the reactions over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said there will be no dilution in reservation and that there has been no change wherever there is a BJP government. 

Out of the remaining three phases, two phases of polls are crucial for the BJP. In the third phase, polling is scheduled to take place in the Lok Sabha seats of Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Ashwini Chaube, RK Singh, Shatrughan Sinha and Ram Kripal Yadav. The BJP is contesting 34 of the 50 seats and its partners have been given only 16 seats in this round.

RSS accuses Nitish of Rs 2000 crore bungling: New book aims corruption charges at Bihar CM as state Assembly polls turn bitter RSS accuses Nitish of Rs 2000 crore bungling: New book aims corruption charges at Bihar CM as state Assembly polls turn bitter Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 8:43 PM Rating: 5

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