Several bottles and cartons (of liquor) have been recovered from the campus of minister Ram Surat Kumar who hails from Muzaffarpur district, alleged Tejashwi Yadav.
Yadav has been alleging that he suspected the minister's involvement in illegal liquor trade, pointing out that he was named in the school's documents as its founder.
Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav Wednesday alleged in the state assembly that several bottles of liquor have been recovered from Bihar Revenue and Land Reforms minister Ram Surat Kumar’s campus in Muzaffarpur and said that members of the House and the people of the state have the right to know as what the reality is.
The state government must respond to the issue of alleged recovery of liquor bottles from the minister’s campus besides also as to how liquor is available in the state where prohibition is in force, Tejashwi said.
He demanded that the Chief Minister should come in the House and reply to queries being raised by members (opposition) vis–vis failure of the prohibition law.
“Several bottles and cartons (of liquor) have been recovered from the campus of minister Ram Surat Kumar who hails from Muzaffarpur district. This is a very important issue but those in power are running away from giving reply on it,” Tejashwi alleged during a post-lunch session when entire opposition members were demanding a statement from the chief minister on failure of prohibition in the state.
“I am not making any sort of allegations against him (Ram Surat Kumar). I am just saying what appeared in newspapers. He (Ram Surat Kumar) is the member of the House and other members and the people of the state have the right to know as what the reality is… And what action, the government is planning to take in this regard,” the RJD leader said.
On this, Rural Development Minister Shrawan Kumar, who was present in the House, objected to Tejashwi’s allegations saying that he has got the right to raise issues but he cannot directly blame anyone (minister).
“I dont know whether it is his (minister Ram Surat Kumar’s) house or someone elses. The item (liquor) was recovered from the premises of a school which has been named after his (ministers) father. This is what appeared in newspapers People have got the right to raise questions in parliamentary democracy. But one can’t make direct accusation in such a manner,” the rural development minister said.
Large quantity of liquor cartons were seized from Arjun Memorial School on November 8, 2020 in Muzaffarpur district which the opposition members brand it as that of Ram Surat Kumar’s property.
Later talking to reporters, Revenue and Land Reforms Minister Ram Surat Kumar denied the allegations terming them as false as he neither runs any school nor any liquor seizure has been made from the premises or piece of land owned by him.
“I will not only resign from the state cabinet but will quit political life if I am found guilty,” Kumar said while questioning leader of opposition’s knowledge.
“Tejashwi can inquire about me from any of his MLAs from Muzaffarpur district. We do not carry any illegal business. I neither have any school nor am custodian. The land (the premises from where liquor seized) in question is registered in my brother’s name. He has given the land to a person to run a coaching institute,” Kumar said, adding that a liquor truck laden truck was seized and a person was also arrested in this connection.
“The only fault of mine is that the land belongs to my brother who has been living separately for past 10 years,” he said.
Earlier, the House witnessed noisy scenes by opposition members who disrupted the proceedings in pre-lunch and post-lunch session demanding a statement from the Chief Minister over media reports showing mafias selling liquor in connivance with officials.
Members from opposition that included RJD, Congress, CPI(ML), CPI, trooped into the well in both pre-lunch and post-lunch session, thus disrupting the proceedings.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said that the government never claimed that not a single bottle is being sold in the state but at the same time, it has asserted that stern action will be taken against those who will violate prohibition law in the state.
Refuting the opposition’s allegations that only poor people have been framed and jailed under Prohibition law, Choudhary said that the agencies concerned do not make any distinction between poor and rich while enforcing prohibition law which is evident from the fact that Bihar police have arrested a billionaire from Haryana and a crorepati from Jharkhand. Is it an example of poor being victimized, he asked.
Not satisfied with the minister’s reply, the opposition members continue to raise anti-government slogans in the House before they could agree to participate in the debate on Road Construction Departments budgetary demand after Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha announced that he would hold a meeting at 10 am on Monday (March 15) with the leaders of different political parties to discuss the issue.