Bihar: Nitish’s JD-U Dares PM Modi to Visit Families of Victims Killed in his Rally a Decade ago
Image Courtesy: PTI
Patna: A week ahead of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s month-long Maha Sampark Abhiyan (mega mass contact campaign) in Bihar from May 30, the ruling Janata Dal-United has cornered the saffron party on its unfulfilled promises.
The JD(U) squarely accused the BJP of forgetting to fulfil the promises made to the families of six people killed in serial blasts at Patna Gandhi Maidan on October 27, 2013. The incident had taken place right ahead of the prime ministerial candidate of BJP and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s Hunkar rally.
The JD(U) ’s accusations have cast a shadow over the Abhiyan’s bihar leg, which is part of the BJP’s nationwide programme to reach out to people in preparation for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The JD-U also reminded the BJP that the family members of the victims are still awaiting jobs and financial assistance as promised by several BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“As it is reported that PM Modi is likely to join a month-long party campaign in Bihar, he should pay a visit to the families of the six victims killed in his rally and meet them to know the reality of their struggle for survival. After nearly ten years, they got nothing, only big promises and false assurances. They are yet to get jobs as promised by PM Modi himself,” JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar, considered close to CM Nitish Kumar, told NewsClick.
Neeraj, a former minister, dared BJP to plan a visit by PM Modi to six different places to meet the victims’ families. “Modi had promised families of victims to help them, ensure to keep well-being and provide a job to one of the family members and other benefits. Nothing has happened so far," he said.
Neeraj further said that Modi could use good roads in the state to visit victims' families. "It was Modi who had promised a job to a family member when he visited the villages and talked to them over the phone soon after they were killed in the blasts. This exposed that promise was merely a jumla,” he claimed.
Interestingly, Neeraj had raised the issue of unfulfilled promises made by PM Modi in 2016 for the first time when JD-U was not an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). But the JD-U again joined hands with the BJP in 2017, and after that, Neeraj ignored the issue and did not bother to raise it. He was silent and reluctant to say anything on the matter until last year. Currently, the JD-U is a major ally of the ruling Mahagathbandhan since CM Kumar dumped its saffron ally and joined hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and Left parties.
It has been nearly a decade since the blast. The family members of six victims – Rajesh Kumar of Nalanda, Munna Srivastava of Gopalganj, Raj Narain Singh of Patna, Bindeshwar Chowdhury of Begusarai, Bharat Rajak of Supaul and Vikas Kumar of Kaimur, have lost all hope of getting any help from the BJP-led central government.
A few days after the serial blasts, Modi had visited the family of four of the six people killed and interacted with them in their native villages and reportedly promised the best education to their children, jobs, and other benefits.
According to BJP leaders here, several top party leaders, including Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and national president J P Nadda are likely to participate in the campaign in the state.
“BJP’s campaign will focus on highlighting PM Modi’s policies and achievements to create awareness among people”, BJP state president Samrat Choudhary told local media on Sunday.
The only help the victims’ families have received so far is a monetary compensation of Rs 5 lakh each, which is grossly inadequate for the loss they suffered.
The Left parties leaders recalled that BJP had taken out a procession with the ashes of the six Patna blast victims across six districts to play politics over it. The party then called it "shahid asthi yatra" (martyrs’ ashes procession). However, the right-wing party’s attitude towards the family members of the victims has exposed the real face of the BJP, they said.
Amid Nitish Kumar meeting with national and regional party leaders on his "opposition unity" mission to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, saffron party leaders have launched a direct attack against him in the state.
Several BJP leaders have been targeting Kumar for his move to unite the opposition to challenge Modi.
On the other hand, in recent days, Kumar has reiterated the need for solid and united opposition to defeat the BJP and oust the Modi-led Central government.
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