Bihar: JDU versus BJP over petrol raid
A senior leader of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to remove BJP MP Janardan Singh Sigriwal from the standing committee on petroleum and natural gas, accusing him of using the position to get his petrol pump raided multiple times.
Kameshwar Singh, 70,is a member of the advisory committee of the JDU and was a vice-president and general secretary of the party earlier. He alleged that Sigriwal had cheated him of his SUV and retaliated with raids when he pressurised him to return it.
“Sigriwal has been very close to me and my family. He requested me for a SUV so that he could tour various areas during Assembly elections held in October–November 2020. My son bought one and gave it to him for use. We demanded it back once the elections were over. He (Sigriwal) kept making excuses and did not return the vehicle,” Singh wrote in the letter to Birla.
“We turned up the heat on Sigriwal so that he would return the vehicle. Instead, our petrol pump located on Chhapra–Marhaura road in Saran district was raided thrice.
“The officials with the raiding teams confided that the action was taken on the request of Sigriwal, who is a member of the Lok Sabha standing committee on petroleum and natural gas. He should be removed from it so that he does not mentally or financially exploit or trouble others due to his position,” Singh added.
The JDU leader also asserted that he and his son were in danger from Sigriwal, who could either get them killed or get the petrol pump closed.
The SUV was bought on EMI from an automobile dealer in Chhapra on August 17 last year and allegedly given to Sigriwal on the same day in the run-up to the Assembly elections.
The polls got over in November and Singh started demanding the vehicle back. The raids on his petrol pump were conducted on December 29 last year and February 8 and 14 this year.
“No other Indian Oil Corporation Limited petrol pump was raided in the area. The officials found nothing wrong at our petrol pump. We later came to know that Sigriwal was boasting about the raids saying that they were vengeance for our gall to demand the vehicle back,” Singh told The Telegraph.
Meanwhile, the SUV surfaced at a servicing centre in Bangalore last month for repair and Singh’s son received a message on his mobile about it. The family contacted the police about the development and registered an FIR about the missing vehicle on August 22. A team was sent to bring it back.
Sources in the Bihar police said that they found out that a doctor, Sachin Kundra, had brought the vehicle to the servicing centre. He said that Sigriwal’s son Raj, who is enrolled in a medical course in a Bangalore college, had given the vehicle to him to get it repaired.
The SUV is currently kept at Mashrakh police station in Saran district.
When contacted by this newspaper, Sigriwal termed the allegations as baseless.
“All the allegations against me are false and baseless. If Singh gave me the vehicle to use, I must have used it at some point of time. He must furnish evidence about it. As far as raids on the petrol pump are concerned, it must have happened due to complaints from the public about adulteration in fuel,” Sigriwal said.
The Maharajganj MP added that Singh wanted to contest the Assembly elections, but did not get the ticket because the Baniapur seat he wanted went to NDA partner Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) instead of the JDU.
“Singh thinks that all this happened because of me and is accusing me of various things,” Sigriwal said.