Patna, Dec. 13: Former allies JD(U) and the BJP were left red-faced after a sting operation caught their MPs on camera willing to write recommendation letters for a non-existent oil company at a price.
Three of the MPs, Maheshwar Hazari, Vishwamohan Kumar and Bhudev Choudhary are the JD(U)’s Lok Sabha MPs. The fourth, Hari Manjhi, is the BJP’s MP from Gaya.
“First, the MPs will be asked for an explanation. We will take further action according to the findings,” said chief minister Nitish Kumar. He stressed it was necessary to give the MPs a chance to explain. BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav said: “Party has taken the matter very seriously and if the MPs are found guilty, party will surely take action against them.”
However, the exposè has come on the eve of the Lok Sabha elections when parties look for winnable candidates. Vishwanohan Kumar represents Supaul Lok Sabha seat, Maheshwar Hazari represents Samastipur and Bhudev Choudhary Jammui.
“As it is, it is getting difficult to find winnable candidates. We may have to find a replacement for three now,” remarked a senior JD(U) leader.
The only party that is happy is the RJD. It has attacked both parties and demanded a CBI probe into the matter. RJD senior leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui said, “Nitish Kumar always talked about zero tolerance for corruption. However, the incident clearly exposes the faces of both JD(U) and the BJP. If Nitish has any shame, he should immediate recommend CBI probe into the matter.”
He also said: “Till the time the JD(U) and BJP ruled the state together for eight years, they claimed good governance and Ram Rajya in the state. As soon as they separated, they started abusing each other. It means their alliance was not based on principles but on selfish motives. Both parties must stop preaching others on corruption, they are the most corrupt leaders and the example is there in front of you.”
But JD(U) state unit president Bashishtha Narayan Singh said: “No doubt, the incident is an embarrassment for the party. However, I believe we must not jump to a conclusion and should give time till the full investigation is completed.”