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Bihar burning but BJP and JD(U) are fighting: Prashant Kishor on Agnipath protests

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Patna, Jun 19: Election strategist Prashant Kishor on Sunday slammed the Bihar's ruling allies JD(U) and BJP for ''fighting'' with each other over violent protests by job aspirants for the armed forces against the Centre's newly introduced 'Agnipath' scheme.

Prashant Kishor

He supported a non-violent demonstration against the short-term contractual recruitment programme in the defence services.

''There should be movement on the Agnipath scheme, not violence and vandalism.

''The people of Bihar are bearing the brunt of the tussle between the JD(U) and the BJP. Bihar is burning and leaders of both the parties are busy fighting with each other on the issue of protests against Agnipath, instead of solving the matter,'' Kishor wrote on Twitter in Hindi.

His comment came a day after a fresh war of words between the JD(U) and the BJP started over the violent protests by job seekers in the state. The BJP held the Nitish Kumar government responsible for its ''inability to stop attacks'' on the residences of saffron party leaders.

Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal had on Saturday criticised the state government, alleging that its effort was ''inadequate'' to stop the violent protests in the state.

The houses of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi and Jaiswal and several offices of their party were vandalised by the protesters on Friday.

Reacting to Jaiswal's comment, JD(U)'s national chief Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh, said, "The central government took a decision. There are protests in other states too. Young people are concerned about their future, so they came out to protest. We can't accept violence. But the BJP should also listen to what is worrying these young people and their concerns. Instead, the BJP is blaming the administration,'' Ranjan said in a video.

Singh also asked, ''What has the administration got to do with all this? A frustrated BJP is blaming the administration for its inability to contain the anger of the agitators. Protests against this scheme are taking place in several BJP-ruled states also. Why is Jaiswal not talking about the inaction of security forces in states where his party is ruling ?'' Meanwhile, due to the ongoing students' agitation, the Eastern Central Railway cancelled and rescheduled at least 14 trains on Sunday.

Bihar witnessed violence and arson by job aspirants against Agnipath in the last few days.

Police acted tough, arresting altogether 250 people across the state on June 18 and lodging 25 FIRs, according to a statement issued by the force here.

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