Days after Union Minister Giriraj Singh said the NDA government owes an apology to the people of Bihar for its “inept” handling of the water-logging crisis in the state, members of the ally JD(U)came out with a barrage of attacks against the BJP leader. At least 72 people died after torrential rainfall in parts of Bihar last week.
“He (Giriraj Singh) is not even comparable to a speck of dust on Nitish Kumar’s feet. One does not become a leader just by chanting the name of Mahadev (Lord Shiva) every now and then,” JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh fumed. Giriraj Singh often refers to Lord Shiva in his speeches.
JD (U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad countered the Union minister with facts to point out that it was largely the BJP which was responsible for the crisis in Patna.
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“Ever since the JD(U)-BJP combine has been ruling the state, the urban development portfolio has been with our alliance partner. The Mayor of Patna belongs to the BJP and so do the MPs representing the two Lok Sabha constituencies that cover the district. All the assembly segments in the city have been BJP strongholds since the 1990s,” Prasad said.
Giriraj Singh, a former member of the Nitish Kumar cabinet, sought accountability from the Bihar chief minister over Bihar floods. “Jab taali sardaar ko, to gaali bhi sardaar ko,” he had said when asked about the chief minister and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi coming under attack over water-logging in many parts of the state.
“The government issued an alert asking the people to be on guard. But was it on guard itself? Had it been so, people would not have been compelled to suffer so much of misery,” news agency PTI quoted him as saying.
JD(U) national general secretary and chief spokesman K C Tyagi expressed his vexation in Delhi. “Giriraj Singh has become a habitual offender. He is causing more damage to our alliance than Tejashwi Yadav (leader of the opposition in the state assembly, belonging to RJD) could be capable of,” said Tyagi.
Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtirya Janata Dal (RJD) which has been down since its debacle in Lok Sabha polls, sought to fish in troubled waters. Party national spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha said, “It is one of the rare occasions when we have found ourselves on the same page as a polarising BJP leader like Giriraj Singh. He is perfectly right in blaming the NDA government in Bihar for the Patna disaster”.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Ram Kripal Yadav also lashed out at the Bihar government saying a system has been put in place in which the bureaucracy is out of control. “Areas of my Pataliputra Lok Sabha constituency are water-logged but when I try to contact officials they do not show the courtesy of even picking up the phone,” he said.
State BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand, however, tried to control the damage. “When the matter belongs to our home, why should anyone go before the media. Agreed that some leaders are under pressure to address public grievances during floods. But the CM and the deputy CM are working tirelessly,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)