Lalu, Cong blame officials for boat tragedy, SuMo wants all-party inquiry
RJD chief says tourism minister Anita Devi should have been taken in the loop before hosting such a big event. BJP questions probe panel, says it is meant to protect guilty officersUpdated: Jan 17, 2017 11:31 IST
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi has demanded constitution of an all-party committee to probe Saturday’s boat tragedy, which claimed 24 lives.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad, on the other hand, has blamed officials for laxity.
Prasad said tourism minister and RJD legislator from Nokha, Anita Devi, was unaware of the kite festival, despite the fact that the event was being organised by the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC).
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a book release function at the state Congress office in Patna, Prasad said, the BSTDC had not made proper arrangements for such a big event.
“It should have held meetings with officials concerned as the venue of the event was at a site that connected two districts (Saran and Patna),” added Prasad.
He said the tourism minister should have been taken in the loop before hosting such a big event. She was in Bounsi on the day, sources said.
Prasad, however, refused to comment on the officials chosen to conduct the inquiry. He said the BSTDC ought to have changed the venue for the kite festival to Gandhi Maidan, instead of hosting it at Sabalpur diara in Saran district.
BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, however, questioned the probe panel. He said, “The probe committee cannot be trusted as it was meant to protect the guilty officers. If the government is serious about unravelling the truth, it should get the matter investigated by an all-party committee headed by a Gandhian leader,” added Modi.
He said the committees constituted earlier to probe tragedies related to Dussehra and Chhath festivals, had failed to recommend action against officers.
The BJP leader said, even after a lapse of 48 hours since the boat tragedy, the state administration had not initiated action against any official.
He also reiterated his demand to put off the proposed human chain for publicising prohibition.
“If other functions can be postponed in view of the tragedy, then what prevents chief minister Nitish Kumar from postponing the human chain?” he asked reporters.
BJP state chief Nityanand Rai had on Sunday demanded chief minister Nitish Kumar’s resignation, saying the onus on the issue was squarely on him.
Senior Congress leader Sadanand Singh also questioned the state’s preparedness and said the incident occurred due to administrative lapses.
First Published: Jan 17, 2017 11:31 IST