RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday took potshots at the BJP- led NDA for maintaining secrecy over the presidential candidate stating that it appears only PM Narendra Modi knows the candidate as the latter had a penchant for keeping things secrets.
“PM Narendra Modi loves to keep secrets in his stomach. Only he knows who will be the presidential nominee of the NDA. Nobody else,” Prasad said, implying that the BJP’s democratic credentials had eroded with PM Modi taking all vital decisions on his own.
The RJD chief, who returned from Delhi after holding consultations with the Congress and other allies on the possible presidential candidate, said the opposition parties had authorised Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take a final decision in this regard.
He also said BJP leaders’ efforts to meet Congress and other opposition parties to take feedback on the choice of nominee for the top post would be a futile exercise. “There is not much hope of a consensus by these interactions between the ruling and opposition parties on presidential nominee,” Prasad said, hinting that a contest for the country’s top executive post was inevitable.
Incidentally, the RJD chief is among the few opposition leaders who have insisted on fielding a presidential candidate by the UPA so that there is a contest for the top post, reasoning that the fight against BJP is necessary “as there are ideological differences between the two sides”.
Meanwhile, Prasad downplayed UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s one-day visit to Darbhanga saying Yogi’s visit would have no impact on the state’s polity inferring that the BJP’s new Hindutva icon would not be able to make political inroads into Bihar even though he had managed to tilt scales for the saffron party in UP’s recent assembly elections with his hardliner image.
“Yogiji has come to do some pooja paath (attend some religious rituals). Nothing will change in Bihar by his visit,” Prasad said.
Later, Prasad flew to Ranchi where he would appear before a CBI court on Friday in connection with a fodder scam case.
Rape accused businessman Nikhil Priyadarshi and the ‘tormented’ woman, Surbhi Jayadeva, daughter of a former Congress minister, want to marry. But, they may have to wait a little longer.
Reason: The bail of Priyadarshi in a different case was rejected on Thursday. The Danapur court of additional district judge (ADJ-1) Sampoornanand Tewari rejected the regular bail petition of Nikhil and his brother Manish Priyadarshi in a case involving dishonouring of cheques worth Rs 17.5 crore, paid in lieu of sale of 25 kattha land to Helios Corporation Limited.
As per an FIR registered on the basis of statement of Sohail Khan, executive officer of Helios Corporation Limited, with Danapur police station on January 18, 2017, Nikhil and Manish had on June 1, 2012 signed an agreement with Sanjay Kumar Singh, chairman of Helios group of companies, for purchase of 25 kattha land on Khagaul road. The duo issued cheques worth Rs 17.25 crore in the name of the company, but all of them were dishonoured. Later, a forgery case was lodged in this connection.
Although the Patna court of ADJ Akhilanand Dwivedi was to hear the matter pertaining to compromise petition of Nikhil and the victim girl for marriage, it was deferred as Nikhil’s lawyers could not turn up. Nikhil’s counsel JP Singh had last time told the court that both were adults and had applied for marriage in the court of registrar.
The National Dolphin Research Centre, which was to come up on Patna University campus in the state capital, will now be established at Bhagalpur by the forest department, close to the Vikramshila sanctuary for Gangetic dolphins.
The move comes, following refusal of Patna University to provide vacant land to establish the infrastructure for the proposed national research centre, citing various rules.
Principal secretary of state forest and environment department Vivek Kumar Singh who was here recently to inaugurate Aranya Vihar, a forest department guest house, said the proposal to establish the centre in Bhagalpur was under serious consideration.
He said an interpretation centre planned on dolphin and greater adjutants would be housed in the newly constructed rest house and in due course, it would be upgraded as research station.
Since there would be no apparatus for research, the proposed upgradation of rest house is aimed at ensuring a place for exchange and generation of new scientific ideas primarily concerning dolphins and greater adjutants, Kumar said.
He said the forest department is keen that wild life enthusiasts come here to sight the endangered dolphins and greater adjutants.
The forest department would soon start organising rive tour of Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS) and Kadwa area, where greater adjutants are found nesting in quite large numbers.
He said there is another proposal to provide accommodation to both domestic and foreign tourists at Aranya Vihar.
Kumar also informed that several works were on the anvil to develop the Bhimbundh forest in Munger district as a place of major tourist attraction, which could be accomplished by the end of the current year.
The area would soon have an all weather road inside the forest, besides power and arrangements for water harvesting from small rain fed rivers passing through the forest area.
Public infrastructure is also to be developed with Central assistance, especially around 16 villages in Bhimbundh under the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) of IAP.