No bonhomie? Nitish attacks BJP, trashes demand to postpone human chain prog

No bonhomie? Nitish attacks BJP, trashes demand to postpone human chain prog
Amidst speculation of growing bonhomie with BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today attacked the party while rejecting its Bihar unit's demand of postponing the human chain programme scheduled for January 21 in the wake of Patna boat tragedy. Speaking to media on the January 14 boat capsize incident, in which 24 people lost their lives, the JD(U) chief said he fails to understand the logic of BJP leader Sushil Modi's demand for postponing the human chain programme.

"Why should it be postponed...What kind of demand is this? It is a social event in support of liquor ban," he said. Involving 2 crore people, the human chain programme would be the largest in the world and its image would be captured by ISRO satellite and several drones, the CM said, adding, standard safety drills, including traffic regulations and other safeguards, would be undertaken.

Sushil Modi had yesterday alleged that "negligence" of the Bihar government led to the boat capsize and said the Chief Minister should take responsibility. He had also demanded the state government postpone the proposed human chain programme. Speculation of a bonhomie between the JD(U) and the BJP set off after Nitish Kumar supported demonetisation decision notwithstanding disquiet within a section of his party over his stand.

The speculation grew thicker after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an event in Patna to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Govind Singh praised Kumar for implementing prohibition in the state. However, Kumar today took a dig at BJP for attacking him over arrangements for the kite festival and said the idea for it was theirs and was started in 2010 when he was Chief Minister with their support.

Kumar said, "After the Indore-Patna Express accident in Kanpur on November 20, 2016, I had cancelled issuing the report card of my government scheduled on that day, but they (BJP) went ahead with the rally (PM's rally) at Agra."
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