Return all relief goods, Modi to Nitish
The Gujarat government on Saturday described the Kosi relief refund by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as unfortunate and uncalled for.Updated: Jun 19, 2010 23:31 IST
The Gujarat government on Saturday described the Kosi relief refund by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as unfortunate and uncalled for.
“It is unfortunate that they decided to return the money meant for flood victims. The aid was nothing but a humanitarian responsibility towards the plight of our fellow citizens,” Jay Narayan Vyas, Gujarat health and tourism minister, said.
A senior minister in Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet told HT that Gujarat had not only given Rs 5 crore, but also two trains with relief material, doctors, paramedics, ambulances and fire brigades worth more than Rs 20 crore.
“The letter from the secretary to the Bihar chief minister says the funds were unutilised, so they were sending the money back. It’s a shame on Nitish’s government, which was not able to utilise the money even after two years and is now sending it back to us,” the minister said.
Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil described it as an insult to Gujarat and a result of Modi’s hunger for publicity. “The money is not from Modi’s purse. It is from the people of Gujarat. Modi’s claims are not in accordance with Gujarati culture, which donates but does not publicise.”
The Congress, too, criticised Nitish. Senior Ahmed Patel blamed Modi for “instigating” him. “He (Nitish) should have thought before returning the fund that this money does not belong to any leader. This is the money given by people of Gujarat to the people of Bihar.”
BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha spoke of the Bihar CM’s “arrogance” and demanded that the party leadership deal with him firmly.
In Patna, RJD chief Lalu Prasad described it as “an absurdity”. “Where have you (Nitish) kept the money and why did you not spend the amount received in 2008?” he wanted to know.
LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said, “The act of returning money is just an attempt to woo Muslim votes. Was Narendra Modi not communal when his government gave the money?”
(with PTI inputs)
First Published: Jun 19, 2010 23:27 IST