Nitish warns Lalu not to demoralise officers

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Purnia, Sep 3 (UNI) If the Kosi's fury has wrought unprecedented havoc across five districts in Bihar, it has also unleashed the pent- up animosity between Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Mr Kumar, while launching a stinging criticism on his arch rival, advised Mr Prasad to desist from making a 'tamasha' over the Kosi deluge.

Talking to newspersons at Chunapur defence aerodrome here, Mr Kumar asked the Railway Minister not to demoralise the District Magistrates and others engaged in the task of evacuating the flood- hit people and rushing relief by picking up telephones and showering abuses on them.

An angry CM said he had absolutely no intention of scoring political brownie points and waste precious time by engaging himself in political debate and skulduggery.

He said the main focus of his government at the moment was rescue and evacuation of tens of thousands of the people still trapped in flood waters and then accelerate relief and rehabilitation of the uprooted and homeless destitutes.

He reiterated that while relief operations would continue for months, the gargantuan task of rehabilitation would take years.

Detailing how the state government had looked after 20.5 million flood-affected people last year and managed the crisis, the Chief Minister asked Mr Prasad to do some 'soul searching'.

''If he continued with his gimmicks and did not stop his histrionics, he will disappear from the political scene both in New Delhi and Bihar,'' he said.

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