Patna, Jan 15: BJP leader Sushil Modi on Sunday alleged that "negligence" of Bihar government led to the boat capsize that claimed 24 lives and said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should take responsibility for the tragedy.
He also demanded that the state government postpone the proposed human chain on January 21 in support of prohibition in the wake of the boat disaster.
"The Chief Minister should take responsibility for the negligence that led to yesterday's tragic incident... If the CM can take credit for the arrangements for Prakashotsav (in Patna) and Kalchakra (in Bodhgaya), then he should also take the responsibility of the death of 24 people," Sushil Modi said.
"It cannot be that Kumar would get credit for good administrative arrangements for 'Prakashotsav' and 'Kalchakra' while the administrative officers are held responsible for failures," he said.
Questioning the arrangements for the kite festival by the tourism department on the occasion of Makar Sankranti at Sabbalpur diara, the BJP leader said, it was neither reviewed by the Chief Minister nor by Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav who is the district's in-charge minister. On the other hand, the government had spent Rs 200 crore on 'Prakashotsav' which was reviewed by the Chief Minister himself and top officials regularly, Sushil Modi said.
Around one lakh people had gathered at the kite flying site on the state government's promise to ferry them free of charge to the spot, he said, adding, "The people had to pay with their lives for the government's poor and inadequate arrangements on their return journey."
Asked whether he would seek the Chief Minister's resignation, the BJP leader said, "It is up to him (Kumar) to decide. We have pointed out the failures and negligence of the state government."
Alleging that the government was responsible for similar incidents in the past, he said, "The government did not learn any lesson from the two major incidents of Chhath and Dussehra when 22 and 33 people died respectively... The government does not know crowd control techniques."
"It has become a norm that the administration wakes up from deep slumber after every major incident," Sushil Modi claimed.
Questioning why all district administration officials were at RJD chief Lalu Prasad's residence, he said, "Probably they were there to receive the Chief Minister. Now the government is trying to divert people's attention from the actual reason of the incident by saying people came in large numbers to see a 'Disneyland' fair, which is yet to start," the BJP leader said.