'Haven't Read The Papers': Nitish Kumar on Jay Shah Controversy

'Haven't Read The Papers': Nitish Kumar on Jay Shah Controversy

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the BJP's latest ally, refused to comment this morning on the controversy over allegations in a website article that BJP chief Amit Shah's son, Jay Shah, a businessman, saw massive profits after the party came to power at the Centre in 2014. Jay Shah said the allegations are "false, derogatory and defamatory" and is suing the website, The Wire. Opposition parties have demanded an investigation. Nitish Kumar said he has not read this morning's papers.

"I haven't read the newspapers so it is not proper to comment," the Bihar Chief Minister said, adding that he does "not understand the complexities of investment through companies." Mr Kumar dumped the Congress and Lalu Yadav in August this year to launch a new partnership with the BJP, changing his status from opposition leader to ruling party ally.

Jay Shah said on Sunday that he is filing a Rs. 100 crore defamation case against The Wire, for alleging in its report that a company owned by him saw a 16,000 crore increase in revenue after the BJP's election three years ago. "The article makes false, derogatory and defamatory imputation against me by creating in the minds of right-thinking people an impression that my business owes its 'success' to my father Shri Amitbhai Shah's political position," he said in a statement.

The BJP has said there is no wrongdoing by the party chief's son. Senior party leader and union minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday evening that Jay Shah's businesses are fully legitimate and conducted in a lawful manner on commercial lines, which is reflected in his tax records and through banking transactions.

The Congress and other opposition parties like the Left and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party have demanded an investigation into the allegations made by the website in its report. Congress leader Kapil Sibal alleged "crony capitalism," while the Left's Sitaram Yechury has sought to know if Prime Minister Narendra Modi will order a CBI investigation.

The Congress has also said that it is inappropriate that a senior minister was fielded to defend a private individual, a tactic that the party was itself criticised for when it was in power and Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of its chief Sonia Gandhi, was accused of corruption.


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