'Lalu's benami property must be confiscated for opening orphanages'
Patna, Aug 24 (IANS) Faced with opposition RJD's aggressive posture over the Srijan scam, Bihar's ruling JD-U on Thursday demanded that RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family's alleged "benami" properties should be confiscated and orphanages opened therein.
Speaking to the media, Janata Dal-United spokesman Neeraj Kumar said the move would at least benefit people.
The RJD legislators disrupted the Bihar assembly on Thursday for the fourth consecutive day over the Rs 1,000 crore Srijan scam, demanding resignation of Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi.
Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary was forced to adjourn the House.
Ahead of the Rashtriya Janata Dal's August 27 rally, where Lalu Prasad was likely to urge party leaders and workers to intensify the agitation against the JD-U-BJP government, Neeraj Kumar raised the demand for confiscating the properties of the RJD chief and his family members.
Neeraj Kumar said Lalu Prasad has "no moral authority" to say anything on the Srijan scam as he and his family were already involved in several scams.
After the JD-U faction led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance and partnered with BJP to form the government, RJD leaders have been attacking him over one issue or the other.
The latest in this is the Srijan scam and poor distribution of relief by the Bihar government in 19 flood-hit districts where nearly 1.5 crore people have been affected and more than 341 lives have been lost.
The Srijan scam involves a Bhagalpur-based NGO, Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Ltd, which used to provide vocational training to women.
The NGO allegedly pilfered funds meant for government welfare schemes from the bank accounts of the Bhagalpur district administration.
In April, when the BJP was in the opposition and Nitish Kumar was running Bihar's Grand Alliance government of JD-U, RJD and Congress, Sushil Kumar Modi had then dared Nitish Kumar to confiscate the alleged "benami" properties of Lalu Prasad and his family, and use them to open schools for poor children.
Modi had raised this just days after the Income Tax Department had conducted raids at 22 places in and around Delhi in connection with the Rs 1,000 crore worth "benami" properties linked to Lalu Prasad.
Modi is also considered the man behind Lalu Prasad's "benami" properties revelation.
"These benami properties of Lalu and his family are a result of corruption. There is a provision in Bihar under the special law to fight corruption by confiscating properties of corrupt officials and open schools for poor children. Now Nitish Kumar should order it," Modi had then said.
According to Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, Lalu Prasad's illegal properties include several big and palatial buildings in Patna besides several plots of land.
In the past, the Bihar government has confiscated properties of several corrupt officials.
The government has seized houses of IAS and IPS officers and a treasury clerk in Patna and handed them over to schools.