The Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday expelled the party’s block president of Bhojpur district Rakesh Singh, who was in jail for two years in connection with the Bhojpur spurious liquor tragedy of 2012. At least 29 people had died in the incident.
Singh is out on bail and facing trial.
“He [Rakesh] is a distant relative of Harindra Singh,” JD(U) state President Bashistha Narayan Singh was quoted as saying. “We had no knowledge of his criminal past. Nitish Kumar also said that he was unaware that Rakesh Singh was an accused in the hooch tragedy case.”
Singh, however, maintained that he is innocent and was “wrongly implicated” in the 2012 case.
This comes a day after a photograph of Singh and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, taken during their meeting on Sunday at Kumar’s official residence, went viral, India Today reported.
Soon after, the Rashtriya Janata Dal mocked the chief minister, linking it with the latest hooch tragedy in Rohtas, in which four people died on Friday, The New Indian Express reported. The RJD accused Kumar of adopting a two-faced policy on prohibition. Former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav alleged that the JD(U) received political funds from mafia groups involved in illicit liquor trade in Bihar.