PM not responsible for corruption: Nitish Kumar

Corruption has emerged as a major issue but PM Singh is not responsible for the situation.

Patna: Corruption has emerged as a major
issue in the country but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was not
responsible for the situation, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish
Kumar said on Saturday.

``I don`t hold the prime minister responsible for the
entire issue related to corruption ... But the situation
reflects that governance is not up to the mark,`` he told a
press conference here.
When his attention was drawn to Union Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee`s statement that the Centre was ready to
convene a special session of Parliament for a debate on the
2G spectrum issue, Kumar said ``it has no meaning.``

``In fact, the Centre should have accepted the
Opposition`s demand for JPC into the 2G Spectrum scam,`` he
said but refused to comment on NDA`s demand for the
resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.

To a question about senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar`s
alleged business links with controversial corporate lobbyist
Niira Radia, Kumar said ``Ananth Kumar is competent to give a
reply to it.``

Asked whether he predicted a mid-term poll in view of
the impasse in Parliament over the 2G spectrum scam, Kumar
said ``I don`t think such a situation will arise, given the
numerical strength of UPA in the house.``

Citing instances of alleged lack of governance by the UPA
government, he said the Centre`s `discriminatory` attitude
towards states not ruled by Congress spoke volumes.

While the Centre allocated funds to Andhra Pradesh and
other states ruled by Congress for relief, it did not do so
for Kosi rehabilitation project in Bihar.

``We had not sought any special favour from the Centre on
the issue ... We had not pressed for funds for carrying out
relief but we wanted that the Centre help us for the
rehabilitation of the people affected by Kosi floods in 2008
... Whenever Congress came to power, it made sinister attempts
to weaken the federal strucure of the country,`` Kumar said.
The state government had, in the absence of the Centre`s
help, approached the World Bank for loans for Kosi flood
rehabilitation project.

``They (Congress) made mockery of Bihar even at the time
of elections and the people have taught them a lesson,`` he
said apparently referring to Singh and Congress president
Sonia Gandhi attacking his government for not properly
utilising central funds.

The chief minister said war against corruption would
continue in Bihar and he had asked his ministerial colleagues
to declare their assets by December 31, 2010. The lists of
assets would be made public and pasted on the state
government`s website.

"I have also asked other public servants from Grade I
to Grade III to declare their assets," he said, adding, his
government was firm in its resolve to confiscate properties of
public servants, including ministers, disproportionate to
their known sources of income, and open schools there.

The state vigilance wing would be strengthened to check
corruption, he added .

Turning to the long-standing demand for special status
to Bihar, Kumar said it was an issue which required
immediate attention from the Centre.

"We had raised the issue even during the National
Development Council(NDC) meeting ... We will continue to build
up pressure on the Centre for the purpose.

"We have solicited support from all the political
parties for exerting collective pressure on the Centre for the
special state issue," he said and held the Centre responsible
for the rise in the prices of commodities across the country.