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Graft barb at Nitish government

- Cops pay to get postings, says new BJP entrant

Former home secretary R. K. Singh tore through the Nitish Kumar government — on the issue of corruption and being soft on terror — on his first visit after joining the BJP.

Not long ago, Singh was tipped to become infrastructure adviser to chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Accompanied by party national president Rajnath Singh, the former bureaucrat said: “Corruption has gone up in Bihar. I have my roots in the state and I have come to know that money was exchanging hands even for postings of officials. Common people are complaining that money changes hands even for the posting of DSPs and SDOs.”

The 1975-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer retired from service on June 30 this year after ending an illustrious innings as bureaucrat. Without naming his former boss (Nitish Kumar), Singh said the state government was soft on terror. He said: “On several occasions, we (home ministry) had issued guidelines to the state government on the issue of terrorism and Naxalism, but the state government failed to take any action. On the contrary, when the police from other states pick up terrorists from Bihar, the Bihar government raises objections.”

During the Nitish government’s first term (2005-2010), Singh, as principal secretary, road construction, played a major role in scripting a turnaround in the condition of roads in Bihar. This achievement was showcased prominently during the 2009 general elections and the assembly elections the following year in which then NDA partners — JD(U) and BJP — registered a thumping victory.

Hailing from Supaul district, Singh justified his decision to join the BJP at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is being seen as a platform for honest and upright persons, the kind of image Singh himself carries.

The former home secretary said: “Even after joining politics I will not change. National interest remains my top priority and for someone like me the BJP is the only party that never compromises on national interest.”

Singh was registrar of cooperative societies in Patna when the then Lalu Prasad government sent him to Samastipur in 1990 to arrest BJP leader L.K. Advani and his rath yatra. Reminded about it, Singh said: “What I did that time was my duty. During my tenure as an IAS officer, I had even taken action against my relatives.”

On Friday, Singh reached the BJP party office with a large number of supporters. Sources said the party was likely to field Singh, a Rajput, from Ara Lok Sabha constituency, presently held by the JD(U)’s Meena Singh, also a Rajput. A large number of party leaders, including former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, former minister Giriraj Singh, Sanjay Mayukh, Ashok Bhatt, Rakesh Kumar Singh and others were present at the party office to welcome Singh.

Attacking Nitish Kumar, his former deputy Sushil Kumar Modi said: “The decision of the Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate to give Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi a clean chit in the 2002 riot cases is a big slap on the faces of Nitish Kumar and leaders of so-called secular parties.”

He said, the special investigation team (SIT) was appointed by the Supreme Court and none of the Gujarat officers were in SIT and yet the probe agency did not find any charges against Modi even after 10 years of investigation.