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Gujarat extends flood relief to Bihar, Lalu’s RJD targets Nitish

So far four BJP ruled states have contributed for the flood relief work in Bihar, which saw 514 deaths during the floods that affected 21 out of 38 districts

india Updated: Sep 07, 2017 20:05 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Gujarat,Nitish Kumar,Flood
Gujarat revenue minister Bhupenrasinh Chudasama handing over a cheque to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, while deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi looks on, in Patna on Thursday. (AP Dube/HT Photo)

BJP-ruled Gujarat, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh on Thursday gave Rs 5 crore each as flood relief to Bihar. Madhya Pradesh has already contributed a similar amount, two other BJP-ruled states, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are likely to follow suit.

Gujarat revenue minister Bhupenrasinh Chudasama, accompanied by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, met chief minister Nitish Kumar and handed over to him a cheque of Rs 5 crore.

“This is a small contribution to the CM relief fund. We have shown our sensitivity to this huge tragedy that has struck large parts of Bihar,” Chudasama told reporters.

When asked about the Kumar’s refusal to accept a similar amount from Gujarat in 2010, Chudasama said, “Times change. I have come for a good work. In this hour of crisis, it is the tradition in India to extend a helping hand. I am not concerned about what others are saying. I am obliged that the CM has accepted the relief sent by Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.”

Modi said Uttar Pradesh and Haryana CMs Yogi Adityanath and Manohar Lal Khattar, respectively, had also called up to convey that they would send relief in the next few days. Chhattisgarh sent the amount through RTGS transfer, while Jharkhand minister CP Singh handed over the cheque personally.

“It is good that all states are coming forward to help Bihar in this hour of crisis. Bihar and Gujarat will work in tandem for progress,” he said, urging RJD chief Lalu Prasad to ask his party lelgislators to contribute to the CM relief fund.

RJD has been attacking Bihar CM ever since Gujarat announced flood relief to Bihar, with party chief Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav reminding Kumar how Kumar had returned a cheque 5 crore some years ago.

“In 2010, Nitish had returned the flood aid of Rs 5 crore from then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi at the call of which conscience? What was the compulsion then that you returned the cheque and what is the compulsion now that you are accepting it?” Tejaswhi tweeted with a picture of Bihar CM accepting the cheque.

In 2010, a huge controversy had erupted when Kumar decided to return the cheque sent by the Gujarat government for flood relief after he was shown holding Modi’s hands in an advertisement prominently displayed in most newspapers of Bihar.

Just before the BJP national executive meeting in Patna in 2010, the advertisement claiming Gujarat help to Bihar after floods had badly ticked off Kumar. With elections in Bihar due a few months later, this move was viewed as a message that Kumar was against the hardline ‘Hindutva’ and did not want to be seen with Modi.

Since then, a lot of water has flown down the Ganga, though Kumar is still the Bihar CM and the amount of relief also remains the same.

First Published: Sep 07, 2017 20:05 IST