Jharkhand parties fight it out over Koda

Ranchi, Nov 19 (Inditop.com) Jharkhand’s political parties are locked in a verbal war over disgraced former chief minister Madhu Koda.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) have launched an aggressive campaign that the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) were also to blame for Koda’s alleged acts of corruption.

The BJP and JD-U say that Koda, the alleged kingpin behind a Rs.2,500 crore money laundering scam, became chief minister of Jharkhand despite being an independent legislator only because of Congress-RJD support.

In election rallies ahead of the November-December elections, the BJP is also demanding that a diary that investigators reportedly seized from Koda should be made public.

The Koda diary, as it has come to be known, reportedly names RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress leaders, including Kripa Shankar Singh, as alleged accomplices in his acts of wrongdoing.

“Why is Rahul Gandhi silent on the Koda issue?” BJP leaders keep asking at public meetings.

“The Congress and RJD were part of the loot during the Koda regime. They played the role of kingmaker by installing an independent as chief minister of Jharkhand,” senior BJP leader Shanawaz Hussain has argued in numerous public rallies in Jharkhand.

BJP MP and former chief ministe Arjun Munda said that it was the Congress “which promoted an independent to become the chief minister. How can Congress shirk its responsibility in the episode?”

Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U leader Nitish Kumar wants “a fair investigation into the Koda episode”.

Lalu Prasad is unfazed. Asked to comment on the Koda affair, he said that investigators must be allowed to do their job. When reporters pointed out that his name figured in the Koda diary, he shot back: “Have you seen it? Do not get involved in yellow journalism!”

The Congress says it only supported the Koda regime from the outside and it can hardly be blamed for what Koda did without anyone’s knowledge.

Union Food Processing Minister and Ranchi Lok Sabha MP Subodh Kant Sahay has tried to put the BJP on the defensive by demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the working of the Arjun Munda regime. Koda was the mines and geology minister when Munda was chief minister.

“We never justified the misdeeds of Koda… We should be given a chance to rule Jharkhand as all (other) parties have ruled it,” Jharkhand Congress general secretary Shailesh Sinha told Inditop.