Rape, murder, dacoity... Are these criteria for becoming ministers?
..................MONDAY, MAY 24, 2004
NEW DELHI: One is on bail for allegedly consuming funds meant for fodder. Another is embroiled in no less than 10 cases, including dacoity and rape. A third one is accused of sheltering Dawood aides, and a fourth one was behind bars till recently for awarding fake BEd degrees. To add that “good economics” bit, one gentleman has been under the CBI scanner for quite some time now for corporate fraud. Meet some of the members of the new Union council of ministers, sworn in on Saturday under PM Manmohan Singh.
Bihar takes the cake with five of its ten ministers having a tainted record. The rot starts from the top –– ‘Kingmaker’ Laloo himself. In fact, when ET contacted CBI to know when his next bail plea is going to come up, this was what we got: “In all, there are 61 cases linked to the fodder scam, being tried in courts in Ranchi and Patna. We have to look into the files to be precise.”
Laloo is also facing a disproportionate assets case, being probed by the CBI. He got a reprieve from the Patna High Court on April 27, which granted him regular bail in one of the fodder scam cases, where he is alleged to have fraudulently withdrawn Rs 45 lakh from Bhagalpur treasury. Earlier, he was out on provisional bail, which had to be extended every six months.
Laloo and his chief minister wife Rabri Devi have been charged with amassing assets worth Rs 42.5 lakh, which were disproportionate to his known sources of income between 1990-96, when he was the Bihar chief minister.
More than that, Laloo will have to defend his three other tainted party leaders. Confidante Mohammad Taslimuddin is allegedly involved in around 10 cases of dacoity, extortion, rape and forgery. He had courted controversy during his earlier stint as minister of state and the then PM, HD Deve Gowda, had to drop him when his “unwholesome background” became a major issue in the media. RJD’s rivals allege that his son Sarfaraz was also involved in the Araria and Jokihat riots on December 9, three days after the Babri mosque demolition.
Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav had to resign as education minister in the Rabri Devi Cabinet in ’02, following his implication in the scam, which involved awarding of fake BEd degrees by some Bihar colleges. He was put behind bars in the case. MA Fatmi, who won from Darbhanga, also has a criminal background.
With Assembly elections round the corner, the swearing-in of RJD MPs having a chequered background is providing fodder to the BJP in Bihar, where it has decided to launch an agitation to cash-in on the ‘dark’ background of Union ministers. And as if Bihar was not enough, there is Santosh Mohan Dev. In ’01, the CBI had registered a preliminary inquiry against him on charges of entering into an “unholy alliance” with a business house to avail financial benefits.
This, the CBI had alleged, had occurred when he was Union minister of steel and mines in 1995. Though the status of the case is not known since the CBI refuses to comment on it, Dev had denied his involvement.
AMONG THE CABINET MINISTERS OF INDIA, IS THERE ALSO THE "SON OF A BITCH" UNDER A HINDU NAME, WHO INSTIGATED THE ANTI SIKH MASSACRES IN 1984, BUT IS YET TO BE TRIED (HANGED)?