Nitish Kumar vows to seize property of corrupt

By Imran Khan, IANS,

Patna: He is promising to develop Bihar. And at rally after rally, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is also vowing to send to jail the corrupt and seize their property — if he gets to rule for five more years.

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If he has his way, the no-nonsense politician is pledging to open schools in the houses of the corrupt his government will take over.

Nitish Kumar is widely considered the frontrunner in the staggered Bihar elections that began Oct 21 and will end Nov 20, but he faces a stiff challenge from a divided opposition.

“I have established the rule of law and initiated development in Bihar in the last five years. Now I will try to end corruption by hitting at the corrupt,” the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader said at one public rally in Saran district.

Nitish Kumar says corruption has destroyed Bihar.

“Rule of law has been established and criminals fear the law as more than 50,000 have been convicted during my rule. I will now put the corrupt behind bars and seize their property (if I am chief minister for five more years),” he said.

One of the biggest crowd pullers in Bihar, he never fails to remind the electorate about the promises he made to them during the last elections — which he says he has fulfilled.

“Give me a second term to end corruption. I will make it possible,” he thundered at campaign rallies over the last two days. Four more rounds of polling are due in the state.

“The corrupt will be put in jail and the government will seize their houses and use them to run schools,” he said. He warned corrupt officials, saying they too won’t be spared.

When Nitish Kumar promised to building good roads and bridges before the last assembly elections, he was seen by many as another politician making routine promises to attract voters.

But in the years he has been in power, even some of his critics accept the man has done wonders — for Bihar.

“I promise to continue with Bihar’s development work. But in my second tenure, I will take on corruption (head on).”

Nitish Kumar has admitted time and again that rampant corruption had hit the implementation of development projects and welfare schemes for poorest of the poor in the state.

The state vigilance department arrested over 350 government officials, including 50 gazetted employees, on bribery charges in the last four years as part of its anti-corruption drive.

Eleven cases of confiscation of property of corrupt officials have been filed in vigilance courts in Patna.