The hold of feudal forces over Bihar politics has become evident after the long-awaited third round of expansion of the Congress-led coalition ministry.
Almost half the MLAs of the Janata Party – in the words of Pandit Nehru ‘helicopter party’ – have become ministers in Bihar Government.
Its leader, Raja Kamakhya Narayan Singh, is now-a-days in his full strength. He is the best all-round defector of Bihar.
After giving so many jerks to Bihar, he has provided a new bombshell.
The State Government has withdrawn its appeal, pending before the Supreme Court, seeking appointment of a receiver for the landed property and mines of the Ramgarh Raja.
The Advocate General of Bihar has withdrawn the case which was the subject matter of protracted litigation between the State of Bihar and the Raja of Ramgarh.
Two hundred and fortysix suits were pending for disposal in a Hazaribagh court. Raja Bahadur Kamakhya Narayan Singh was the recorded proprietor of Ramgarh Estate and Serampur Estate.
Bihar Government had notified the Estate under Section 3 (1)of Bihar Land Reforms Act, 1951, vesting the property in the State.
But prior to the Gazette notification, the Raja set up 23 limited companies and sold them different parcels of his estates.
He also created a number of maintenance grants and trusts in favour of his family members and agnatic relations.
The Government challenged the validity of these transactions to circumvent provisions of the Land Reforms Act.
The Raja’s relatives filed about 273 different cases against the Government of Bihar. K.N. Singh himself filed a suit as the MD of Ramgarh Farms and Industries Ltd, which concerned three lakh acres of land.
(Addendum: Ramgarh Zamindari had 3,672 villages covering an area of 12,950 sq km.)
The Opposition parties raised the voice after AG withdrew the case from the Supreme Court, asking the Government to dismiss the AG.
The AG has himself threatened to resign, saying his action was in the interest of the people and in his opinion it was not necessary to consult the Cabinet about withdrawal of the appeal.
The State Government has referred the entire issue to the Attorney General of India.
The State Congress President favours privy purses. However, he has reprimanded Chief Minister Harihar Singh for permitting the AG to do what he liked in the matter.
Excerpts from ‘Bihar: Ramgarh Again’, Frontier, 7 June 1969.
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