Paswan Says Prohibition a Failure in Bihar; Questions Nitish's Silence on Lalu

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Patna: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) President and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, at a press conference in Patna on Saturday, slammed Nitish Kumar on his 'fake concerns about the effects of alcohol' and his refusal to speak on a host of charges being leveled against his political partner Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members.

"This whole prohibition thing is a joke and has been a complete disaster from day one. First, this is the same man who opened opening of liquor shops in nearly all villages during his first two terms. Then when his development agenda utterly failed in Bihar, he started to talk about prohibition to divert the attention and to show off that he was concerned about the women and children of Bihar," the LJP chief said,

Calling Nitish Kumar's total prohibition in Bihar 'ridiculous', Paswan, whose party is an ally of the BJP-led NDA at the Center, said that it was preposterous to be told that rats in Bihar drank nearly 10 lakh liters of seized alcohol in possession of various law enforcement agencies in Bihar.

"It is quite clear that this prohibition has failed and has only opened avenues for more corruption in the administration. While 'rats are drinking liquor' in Bihar, the Chief Minister is busy patting his own back for becoming an agent of change in the state in spite of the fact that crime has been soaring and economic development is nowhere to be seen. Let's be very clear about it; prohibition has failed and it will not be successful in Bihar even in 'saat janam' (seven lives). It has only given rise to corruption in the state where even the low-level officers are making tons of money. These are the same officers who are working with the smugglers and illegal liquor traders in Bihar," he said.

Paswan then accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of keeping mum on allegations of amassing wealth through illegal means by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his many children two of whom happen to be part of the Nitish cabinet.

"Where is Nitish Kumar on these issues? Why he is not saying anything about how Yadav acquired land worth Rs. 1,000 crore. If Nitish wants to save his own credibility, he needs to break his silence and take proper action against Lalu and his family members," the Union Minister said.

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