UPA=United Poachers Association: Nitish

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Patna, Jul 21: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday, July 21 termed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ''United Poachers Association'' and alleged that Railway Minister Lalu Prasad was shying away from the elections.

Talking to newspersons during the Janata Durbar here, Mr Kumar said had he been an MP, he would have raised the issue of the ''injustice meted out to Bihar'' during the special session. The JD(U) leader said he had come across such a ''piquant'' political situation for the first time in his political career and maintained that the present political crisis was like a ''windfall'' for the MPs, adding that ''windfall'' tax should be imposed on those claiming to have understood the nuclear deal.

He said the survival of the Manmohan Singh government was ''meaningless'' and alleged that the UPA government had lost credibility.

Regarding shifting of loyality of JD(U) MP from Nalanda Ram Swaroop Prasad towards the UPA in the context of the Trust Vote, Mr Kumar claimed to be aware of the fact long back as the MP had dissociated himself from the party at the time of by-election of Islampur Assembly constituency.

Meanwhile, with the decision of Mr Prasad to vote in favour of the UPA in the Trust Vote, the Congress camp was jubilant and the leaders from the Bihar unit of the party informed the party High Command about the development.

Expressing his displeasure over the proposed Nuke deal with the US, Mr Kumar said it was being propagated that the power generation would increase with the deal. However, the government was not promoting ethanol production as an alternative source of energy, he maintained. Citing the example of Brazil, Mr Kumar said the country had used ethanol to cater to its energy requirements and alleged that the Centre had instead restricted the Bihar government from producing ethanol from sugarcane.

''In view of the rising petroleum prices, ethanol can be a good alternative source of energy and countries like the US and Brazil are utilising it,'' he said.

He claimed that Bihar too would have become self-sufficient in terms of energy in case it was allowed to produce ethanol from sugarcane.

Mr Kumar said his party was prepared for the Lok Sabha election which was knocking at the doors.

To a query regarding the waterlogging problem in the state capital, Mr Kumar informed that a task force had been constituted to improve the drainage system in Bihar and it had been directed to submit a concrete plan for the purpose.

UNI

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