Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal: Cases of political patronage are coming to the fore in Bihar’s flagship scheme ‘Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal’ to provide drinking water to every household. In the first episode of the Indian Express’s revelations, the name of Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Tarkishore Prasad was revealed that his family and close friends were allotted projects worth Rs 53 crore under this scheme. Now in the second episode of revelations it has come to the fore that under this scheme, projects were allotted to relatives of senior leaders of JDU and BJP in about 20 districts from Samastipur to Madhubani and Jamui to Sheikhpura. Projects worth Rs 80 crore were allotted to the family of former JDU state secretary Anil Singh. Apart from this, the name of an RJD leader has also come up in the matter of giving political patronage. The opposition has sought the resignation of Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad regarding this matter. Congress has also targeted PM Modi and Union Home Minister Shah.
Most of the projects under this scheme are implemented by PHED (Public Health Engineering Department). PHED allocates Rs 30-57 lakh to companies or contractors for each contract. The department gives 60-65 percent amount during the work and the remaining 35-40 percent is given in equal installments for maintenance in five years.
Express investigation: Big disclosure in the plan to deliver water to every house of Bihar, projects worth crores got by the family and associates of Deputy Chief Minister Prasad
Projects worth crores got to the families of leaders
- Under Bihar’s flagship scheme ‘Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal’ scheme, it has come to the fore that a project worth Rs 53 crore was allotted to the family and relatives of Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Tarkishore Prasad. Under the scheme, projects were given to Prasad’s daughter-in-law and two companies related to his year and others.
- The top of the disclosures so far is that of former JDU state secretary Anil Singh, who is still in an influential role in the state’s politics and is present in all the major programs of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Under this scheme, projects worth Rs 80 crore were allotted to Anil Singh’s family.
- BJP MLA Vinod Narayan Jha’s nephew was given projects worth Rs 3.5 crore in 2019-20 when his uncle was a PHED minister.
- RJD’s State General Secretary Rajiv Kamal alias Rinku Singh was allotted projects worth Rs 4.5 crore in Jamui.
- Former PHED minister and nephew of BJP MLA Vinod Narayan Jha got projects worth Rs 3.5 crore.
- Projects worth Rs 17 crore were allotted to BJP spokesperson Rajan Tiwari’s company.
- Projects worth Rs 23 crore were allotted to the company of Manoj Gupta, former state coordinator of BJP Business Cell.
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This is the side of the government
Regarding the allocation of projects to the close of the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar under the ‘Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal’ scheme, the state government has said that if any complaint is received, the bidding and tender process will be investigated. PHED Minister Rampreet Paswan said that politicians also have the right to get government contracts but under process. Late on Wednesday night, Prasad attended a meeting of top Bihar BJP leaders at the residence of another deputy CM of the state, Renu Devi, and according to information received from sources, the Indian Express discussed the disclosures in the meeting.
PHED Engineer-in-Chief and Special Secretary Daya Shankar Mishra has said in a letter sent to The Indian Express that under this scheme, the tender process has been completed in a transparent manner as per the provisions in Katihar district. If any complaint is received, strict action will be taken, he said. Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal has defended Prasad, saying that his close friends got the contracts in 2019-20, when he was not the deputy chief minister but the MLA in Katihar.
Opposition demands resignation of Deputy Chief Minister
- On Wednesday, opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav has challenged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take action against Prasad. Tejashwi said that the state government is engulfed in corruption and Nitish Kumar has been talking about monitoring the ‘Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal’ scheme from time to time but will he now take action against Prasad? Taking a dig at Tejashwi, he said that Nitish Kumar has become the Chief Minister on compassion and cannot take action against NDA leaders.
- At the same time, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala in New Delhi has raised questions on the Bihar government and the BJP leadership, calling this scheme ‘Har Neta Theka Yojana’. Surjewala has questioned Nitish Kumar’s silence and asked whether it is not a matter of conflict of interest and should Tarkishore Prasad not resign immediately? Surjewala has raised questions whether JP Nadda should not resign immediately? He has asked whether PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah should not come forward and speak against corruption?