‘Can’t even build bridge…’: Chirag Paswan jabs Nitish Kumar over opposition unity bid

Jun 08, 2023 07:22 PM IST

LJP leader Chirag Paswan hit out at Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for the bridge collapse and opposition's mega meeting.

Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan on Thursday took a swipe at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar by linking the Bhagalpur bridge collapse to the latter’s efforts to stitch together a united opposition. “Bihar CM who can't even build a bridge is trying to unite the Opposition. This unity will collapse the same way as the bridge (in Bhagalpur) did,” he said.

Lok Janshakti Party (Ramvilas) president Chirag Paswan. (Photo by Santosh Kumar / Hindustan Times)
Lok Janshakti Party (Ramvilas) president Chirag Paswan. (Photo by Santosh Kumar / Hindustan Times)

Paswan’s comments come ahead of the Opposition’s important meeting on June 23 in the runup to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Union Minister Smriti Irani also echoed Paswan’s jibe and said that the opposition may be looking for support in each other but their wish will wash away in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls like the collapsed bridge.

She said, “They are looking for support in each other as they are unable to stand on their own feet. They are coming together at a place where a 1,750-crore structure washed away. Their wishes will wash away in a similar way in 2024.”

Opposition unity

Earlier scheduled to be held on June 12, it was postponed on account of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and party president Kharge as well as DMK chief Stalin not being able to attend due to other engagements.

Read: Opposition sets sights on joint front for 2024 after Congress’s poll win

Kumar has been at the forefront for the past few months in forging out a union of Opposition parties in the run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

He has been speaking to several regional satraps besides the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the Left and has held separate meetings with leaders of many parties, including Gandhi and Kharge of the Congress, Delhi chief minister and AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee along with Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Sharad Pawar.

The bridge collapse

The under-construction Aguwani-Sultanganj bridge’s collapse on Sunday was attributed by officials to ‘design flaws’. According to authorities, portions of the bridge were ‘deliberately destroyed’ under expert advice. The bridge, intended to connect Khagaria district with Bhagalpur, incurred a cost of more than Rs. 1,700 crore. This is the second time the bridge has collapsed, with a previous incident occurring on April 30 last year.

CM Kumar has ordered an inquiry into the incident which drew sharp criticism from the opposition BJP.

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