Bihar soft on terror for politics, says BJP

Accusing the Bihar government of going “soft” on terror owing to political compulsions, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday criticised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for sleeping over specific alerts from intelligence agencies on the blasts that took place in Patna targeting Narendra Modi’s rally.

The BJP also pointed at lapses in sealing the rally venue of Gandhi Maidan, alleging that the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), the ruling party in Bihar which ended its 17-year-old association with the BJP in June, was “casual and callous”.

The saffron party also sought a high-level probe. “Security lapses were there; there cannot be any doubt about that. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar spoke to me yesterday (on Sunday), expressed his sadness, said an investigation was on and assured me that within one or two days he would collect all the information,” BJP President Rajnath Singh, who was also present at Sunday's rally, told reporters.

Referring to the Bihar government, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley emphasised that some state governments “want to be seen as soft on terror for obvious reasons”.

“This is an attack on Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders. It was intended to intimidate our party, which has vowed to fight these tendencies with greater determination. The Ministry of Home Affairs and Government of India should seriously review the security of Narendra Modi,” he added. Jaitley too was present at the rally when the blasts took place.

He also contradicted Kumar's claim, made at a press conference on Sunday evening, that there was no specific alert for terror strikes. “This does not appear to be factually correct. A specific alert was issued to Bihar Police by the central Intelligence Bureau on October 23 with regard to the rally,” he said.

Jaitley emphasised that the alert was specific enough to mention that “Indian Mujahideen (IM) modules could organise strikes during Narendra Modi’s Patna visit”.
It also referred to the arrest of IM mastermind Yasin Bhatkal and another source from where the information came.

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