Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday asked chief minister Nitish Kumar to own moral responsibility for Saturday’s boat tragedy, which claimed 24 lives according to officials.
“If the chief minister takes credit for the success of Prakash Parv and Kalachakra puja, then he should be ready to take responsibility for the death of so many people, who were returning back home after attending a kite festival organised by the state culture department,” said Modi.
Modi told mediapersons that he was surprised the CM who personally reviewed preparations for the Prakash Parv and Kalachakra Puja, did not have time to review preparations for the kite festival on Makar Sankranti.
He also expressed anguish that while the government spent around `200 crore on Prakash Parv and Kalachakra Puja, it did not bother to spare even a single paise for the kite festival.
The BJP leader said, after inviting the people to participate in the festival, the government did not think it necessary to make arrangements for adequate number of boats to ferry the visitors.
He claimed that no senior police or administrative officials were present at the venue to manage the huge crowd, which had gathered for the function.
“The fact remains that all top officials were present at the residence of RJD president Lalu Prasad, who had thrown a ‘chura-dahi’ party, while the visitors at the diara area were left to fend for themselves,” he added.
Modi expressed surprise that top officials of the district administration, who were responsible for managing the kite flying festival, have been made members of the fact-finding team.
He said, in order to divert the attention of the public, the government was unnecessarily blaming hosting of a Disney Land programme, against the permission of the district administration, for drawing a huge crowd. “In fact, there is no such programme in the area,” he claimed.
He said now that the JD(U) had cancelled its proposed ‘chura-dahi’ party and functions related to the Mahatma Gandhi Setu repair, the chief minister should also postpone the human-chain programme slated for January 21 to publicise prohibition.
Later talking to HT, senior BJP leader Jamshaid Ashraf pointed out that the boat tragedy made it quite evident that the Bihar government miserably failed to take a lesson from the past two tragedies, which had struck the state capital. He was referring to the tragic death of many people during Chatth and Dussehra festivals in Patna.