It was perhaps not a coincidence that a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee headed by BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab asked the CBI whether the Bofors scandal dating to the mid-1980s could be investigated afresh and the agency readily agreed to seek the Centre’s opinion in this.
The brief made it clear that Congress was to be targeted on corruption on a host of issues ranging from a 30-year-old scandal to more recent UPAera scams such as AgustaWestland and other defence deals.
BJP MPs Nishikant Dubey and Meenakshi Lekhi raised the Bofors case in Lok Sabha just as Congress was looking to put the focus on incidents of cow vigilantism and blame the ruling party for encouraging saffron extremism. Corruption, the BJP leadership decided, was the issue to pin down the opposition.
The developments in Patna were filling the BJP’s sails as former deputy CM Sushil Modi made a series of damaging revelations against Lalu Prasad and his family.
The allegations and PM Narendra Modi‘s high octane press conferences raised the heat and the CBI’s decision to register an FIR against Lalu, his wife Rabri and son Tejashwi in a case of hotel contracts which were allegedly given for a prime plot in Patna proved to the last straw for the RJD-JD(U) alliance.
Nitish Kumar, under pressure to stand by his image as a leader who did not brook corruption, broke the alliance, and immediately opened the gates to a major realignment with BJP ahead of the 2019 polls. The fresh embrace of Nitish serves a double purpose for BJP.
It brings corruption into sharp focus at the cost of Congress which is saddled with Lalu as an ally and it busts the concept of a “mahagathbandhan” to take on Modi and BJP in the 2019 elections.
Source : timesofindia