Nitish wants to keep criminal record under wraps: RJD

Patna: The chief opposition RJD today accused Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of "declining to contest" the assembly polls "to keep his criminal antecedents under wraps".

"It's common knowledge that a contestant has to disclose the details of his or her criminal antecedents in the affidavit mandated by the Election Commission and Kumar facing serious charge too will be required to do so", the RJD leaders Jagatanand Singh, Shakeel Ahmed Khan and Ram Kripal Yadav said at a joint press conference.

Claiming that proceedings were still pending against Kumar in a case related to killing of a Congress activist Satyendra Singh at a booth at Pandarak under Barh parliamentary constituency at the time of polls in 1991, they said "the Chief Minister in the given circumstances stands to lose his clean image in the eyes of the people as he will have to declare the criminal antecedents in the affidavit."

They dared Kumar to take electoral plunge if he was not afraid of "acknowledging his own criminal antecedents."

"The people of Bihar must know that their Chief Minister has cases registered against him for murder, booth grabbing and kidnapping of a witness," they said.

Kumar was in the fray from Barh constituency in 1991 on a Janata Dal ticket and police had in its final report cleared Kumar of all charges against him in the case long time ago, official sources said.

Trashing Kumar's claim of development and an improved law and order situation in Bihar during the NDA government's tenure, the RJD leaders alleged that the conduct of the ensuing assembly polls in Bihar could not be possible in "a free and fair manner" keeping in mind Kumar's track record in past.

The RJD leaders accused the Chief Minister of hatching plans for booth grabbing by appointing his trusted officials to key posts to 'influence' the outcome of the forthcoming assembly polls in favour of the ruling NDA.

They demanded that the Election Commission appoint its special observers who should also “monitor the activities of Kumar himself.”

"The EC should take serious view of Kumar's involvement in criminal case in the past to win the parliamentary polls and appoint its own special observers to monitor the latter's activities”, they urged.