Nitish slams BJP for opposing ex-MP Anand Mohan’s release from jail

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday slammed the BJP for kicking up a storm over the release of controversial former MP Anand Mohan after serving a life sentence for the murder of an IAS officer.

Talking to reporters here, Kumar pointed out that the opposition party, which he did not mention by name, had been raising the demand for the release of Mohan, who wields some influence among upper caste Rajputs, “till only two months ago”.

The JD(U) leader also deplored the BJP’s strident criticism of Arvind Kejriwal over lavish expenditure on renovation of the Delhi chief minister’s house.

He said the criticisms stemmed from the unease over the Aam Aadmi Party convenor’s electoral success in Delhi and the ability to replicate it elsewhere.

The longest-serving chief minister of Bihar seemed particularly annoyed with senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who has served as his deputy for a long and has been denouncing the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government over the release of Mohan, whose son Chetan is a sitting MLA of the RJD, the largest constituent of the ruling coalition in the state.

“Just look at this picture,” exclaimed the normally reticent Kumar, as he brandished a photograph of Sushil Kumar Modi in a warm embrace with Mohan, apparently clicked when the BJP leader met the latter during Chetan’s engagement a few days ago.

“I am surprised that so much ado is being made about just one person who happens to be among 27 prisoners released from jail,” said Kumar, who has been under attack for an amendment to prison rules that dropped a clause that prevented those sentenced for “killing a government servant on duty” from seeking remission.

“Those who are having a problem with dropping the clause should know why it was done. We went by the Model Prison Manual brought in by the Centre in 2016. It did not put those accused of murder in different categories,” Kumar said indignantly.

Notably, Mohan, who walked out of a jail in Saharsa district on Thursday, had been convicted for the murder of G Krishnaiah, the then district magistrate of Gopalganj, who was beaten to death by a mob in 1994.

His release had evoked protests from various quarters, including the Hyderabad-based family of Krishnaiah and the IAS Officers’ Association, though Kumar pointed out that Mohan “has been released only after spending more than 15 years behind bars, far in excess of the 14 years stipulated for life term convicts”.

He also bristled at the BJP’s allegation that by freeing Mohan, who was famed for his firepower in his heydays, the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ was showing an inclination to use muscle power in elections.

The septuagenarian turned towards Chief Secretary Amir Subhani, who stood beside him, and handed over to him a sheaf of papers.

“These are statistics that show the number of prisoners who were freed in Bihar in 2020-21, compared with the figures of the same period for states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh”, said Kumar as he reeled out figures.

He, however, also disapproved of the demand made by CPI(ML) Liberation, which supports his government from the outside, to likewise set free its activists who have been in jail for years after being booked under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, (TADA).

“Such demands are meaningless. The remission of a sentence is not an exercise taken with the political process. A procedure is in place for such remission and all those who are eligible may look forward to their turn,” Kumar said.

The JD(U) leader, who has met Kejriwal more than once as part of efforts to forge “opposition unity” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year, also detested the muckraking on the Delhi chief minister over crores spent on renovation of his house.

“I have known him since before he joined politics. He is being attacked because he succeeded, electorally, in Delhi and is now spreading his influence in other states. I do not approve of such mud-slinging on any person,” Kumar said.

Incidentally, the JD(U) leader thereby also ended up adopting a stance at variance with the Congress, his ally in Bihar, which has joined the BJP in attacking Kejriwal, whose anti-corruption plank has been credited for the former bureaucrat’s meteoric rise in politics


  • Adam Gray

    Adam Gray is an experienced journalist with a passion for breaking news and delivering it to the masses. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has covered everything from local stories to national events, earning a reputation for his accuracy, reliability, and attention to detail. As a reporter, Adam is always on the lookout for the next big story, and his dedication to uncovering the truth has earned him the respect of his peers and readers alike. When he's not chasing down leads, Adam can be found poring over the latest headlines, always on the lookout for the next big scoop. Contact [email protected]

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