|Giriraj Singh and (above) Sarayu Roy
The fodder scam has a history of crafting fissures in political parties.
In 1997, it triggered a split in the Janata Dal. The RJD came out of it after several Janata Dal leaders, including then Prime Minister late I.K. Gujaral, felt Lalu should quit.
Sixteen years on, it seems to have the same fizz. This time, it has triggered an upheaval in the BJP.
Sarayu Roy, one of the petitioners in Patna High Court pleading for a CBI probe into the scam, has written a pair of letters to former deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi this month.
The first letter, dated October 6, gave a clean chit to chief minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U) leaders Shivanand Tiwari and Lallan Singh in the fodder case. The second, written on October 8, describes Modi as an “ego-centric leader”. It states that he used the shoulders of Giriraj Singh to launch an attack on him (Roy). When the fodder scam surfaced in 1995, Roy and Modi paired up and exposed many aspects of the scam, including the alleged links of the scam mafia with Lalu and other political leaders. The attack by the duo was so deadly that it crippled the defence of Lalu.
Things have changed with time, though. After Lalu’s sentence, Modi and Roy’s relationship has strained.
The primary reason of bitterness is Modi’s attack on Nitish, Shivanand and Lallan for allegedly receiving fodder scam money. Modi’s charges emerged from a PIL filed in Jharkhand High Court. The CBI has been directed to investigate the matter and file a reply by November 22.
Roy in his first letter asserted that the trio had not received any fodder scam money and that Modi’s statement was helping those against whom they (the BJP) had fought for two decades on the issue of fodder scam.
Reacting strongly to Roy’s letter to Modi, former BJP minister Giriraj Singh called him a “mouthpiece” of Nitish who would join the JD(U) in lieu of a membership in the Rajya Sabha or the Bihar Legislative Council.
Roy, in his second letter, retorted, “You have misused Giriraj, with whom I enjoy a good relationship. There is a charge that I would be joining the JD(U) and given a Rajya Sabha seat. Let me tell you that I was offered the same post in the first Jharkhand government,” Roy said in his letter, asking Modi to verify the fact from the once-BJP ideologue Govindacharya.
Roy stated that his friendship with Nitish was no secret and that he had been offered any post of his choice in Bihar since 2009. “I did not have to wait for a baseless statement against me to join the JD(U),” he wrote, asking Modi not to stoop. Modi refused to comment when The Telegraph contacted him for his reaction to Roy’s letter. His supporters, however, justified the fodder scam attack on Nitish.
“How can Roy give a certificate to the Bihar chief minister when Jharkhand High Court has asked the CBI to investigate the matter? Modiji raised the issue after the statements of S.B. Sinha and Umesh Singh were brought to the public domain,” said a Modi follower.