Nitish Kumar rejects BJP demand to postpone human chain event after Patna boat accident
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday took a dig at BJP for attacking him over arrangements for the kite festival and said the idea for it was theirs and was started in 2010 when he was chief minister with their support.Updated: Jan 16, 2017 21:10 IST
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday rejected the BJP Bihar unit’s demand to postpone the human chain programme scheduled for January 21, in the wake of Patna boat tragedy.
The Bihar government has organised a statewide human chain programme to mark the success of liquor prohibition in the state, which the BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi has requested to be postponed after 24 people were killed on January 14, when a boat carrying 50 people capsized in Ganga river near Patna.
Attacking the ruling party at the Centre, the JD(U) chief said he fails to understand the logic of BJP leader Sushil Modi’s demand for postponing the human chain programme. “Why should it be postponed...What kind of demand is this? It is a social event in support of liquor ban,” he said.
Involving two crore people, the human chain programme would be the largest in the world and its image would be captured by ISRO satellite and several drones, the CM said, adding, standard safety drills, including traffic regulations and other safeguards, would be undertaken.
Sushil Modi had on Sunday alleged that “negligence” of the Bihar government led to the boat capsize and said the chief minister should take responsibility. He had also demanded the state government postpone the proposed human chain programme.
Speculation of a bonhomie between the JD(U) and the BJP were rife after Nitish Kumar supported PM Narendra Modi’s demonetisation decision notwithstanding disquiet within a section of his party over his stand.
The speculation grew thicker after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an event in Patna to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Govind Singh praised Kumar for implementing prohibition in the state.
However, Kumar on Monday took a dig at BJP for attacking him over arrangements for the kite festival and said the idea for it was theirs and was started in 2010 when he was chief minister with their support.
Kumar said, “After the Indore-Patna Express accident in Kanpur on November 20, 2016, I had cancelled issuing the report card of my government scheduled on that day, but they (BJP) went ahead with the rally (PM’s rally) at Agra.”
First Published: Jan 16, 2017 21:10 IST