Ranchi: BJP leaders in Jharkhand are unhappy over Chief Minister Raghubar Das' remark that the state has seen only corruption over the past 14 years.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders who did not want to be identified by name on Thursday took exception to the comment that appeared to indicate that all chief ministers until now were corrupt.
"We have got corruption as a legacy," Das said on Wednesday. "In the last 14 years only corruption was prevalent.
"If I start weeding out corruption, it will take at least five years. Corruption is deep rooted in all departments," added Das, who took office in December last year.
The comment has not gone down well within the party as the BJP had been in power in Jharkhand during nine of the 14 years.
Officially, the state BJP welcomed the chief minister's comment.
"The chief minister has given a bold statement. He was also a minister in the previous BJP governments. Now people want action," Jharkhand BJP spokesman Pradeep Sinha told IANS.
"There should be an impartial probe into all the corruption that took place in last 14 years," Sinha added.
But other BJP leaders do not agree.
Saying corruption made its deep inroads in the state when independent legislator Madhu Koda became the chief minister in 2006, a senior leader argued that the BJP had ruled Jharkhand from its formation in November 2000 until September 2006.
"Raghubar Das was also a minister in both the Babulal Marandi and Arjun Munda (BJP) governments," he said.
"The present chief minister should not forget that not a single corruption charge was lodged against Babulal Marandi or Arjun Munda," the leader added.
Marandi quit the BJP in 2006 and formed the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P).
Expressing unhappiness over Das' remark, another BJP leader told IANS: "The chief minister should not criticise previous chief ministers just to project himself as a clean man."
He added: "At this rate, it looks like nothing good happened in Jharkhand in the last 14 years."
Besides the 2000-06 period, the BJP also governed Jharkhand from September 2010 to January 2013.
Madhu Koda was chief minister from September 2006 to August 2008. Shibu Soren succeeded him from August 2008 to January 2009, and again from December 2009 to May 2010.
Hemant Soren followed from July 2013 to December 2014.
Opposition parties too have taken a dig at the chief minister.
"Raghubar Das has come out with truth," said Alok Dubey, a Congress leader.
"It was the BJP which ruled the state for nine of the last 14 years, and Das was a minister in the earlier BJP governments," Dubey told IANS.
"So the BJP should take responsibility for all the corruption in the state. We congratulate the chief minister for speaking the truth. He must order a probe into all corruption cases."