At a time when the Gujarat police’s killing of Ishrat Jahan in a ‘fake’ encounter is generating heat, the blasts in Bodh Gaya have given the BJP more ammunition to settle scores with ally-turned-foe Nitish Kumar. It has also made easier the oblique defending of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi against accusations regarding Ishrat’s killing.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi on Sunday linked the Bodh Gaya and Ishrat Jahan incidents, “If a state acts on IB inputs, as Gujarat did in the Ishrat Jahan case, you carry investigations into the killings for a decade calling it a fake encounter. When a state doesn’t act on IB inputs, as in Bihar today, a blast takes place.”
She added that there was a “trend” of making “angels” out of “LeT operatives” and “demons” out of security forces.
BJP’s Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath was scathing, “If IB inputs had been heeded in Bihar, this blast wouldn’t have happened. Would it have been good if Gujarat police had taken no action against Ishrat Jahan and those accompanying her, and they would have killed a political leader?” He held the Bihar government’s “soft-on-terror” and “minority appeasement” policy responsible for the blast. BJP leaders from Bihar, Sushil Modi and Shahnawaz Hussain, too, accused the Bihar government of failing to act on IB inputs.
Hussain said Nitish Kumar was “overloaded” with 18 ministries and busy having lunch with Union ministers, and his party colleague Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Bihar was back to the “Lalu days”. The Bihar BJP has given a bandh call on Monday to protest the “lapse”.
Meanwhile, Narendra Modi just tweeted that it was a sad day for India and the Buddhist community, on a day when Dalit neo-Buddhists protested against the blasts in Nagpur.
The Congress, however, was more measured and said that investigations should be held speedily.
However, RJD chief Lalu Prasad — Nitish’s arch-rival — sought a probe into whether intelligence inputs were ignored. Lok Janashakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan charged Kumar with ignoring IB inputs.