STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 23 July
There is no let-up in the slugfest between the BJP and its erstwhile ally JD-U with both parties taking each other on over the midday meal tragedy in Bihar and the perceived ‘unacceptability’ of the Gujarat chief minister, Mr Narendra Modi.
While BJP spokespersons slammed Bihar chief minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, (in photo) for his ‘conspiracy’ theory on the midday meal tragedy, the JD-U chief Mr Sharad Yadav welcomed Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s comment that Mr Modi did not qualify to be the country’s Prime Minister. He held the BJP’s election panel chairman responsible for diverting public attention from burning issues of corruption, unemployment and farmers’ plight. "I welcome Amartya Sen’s statement. If not for Modi, our alliance with BJP would not have broken," Mr Yadav said.
BJP general secretary and spokesman Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy alleged the Bihar chief minister was being "shameless" in circulating the conspiracy theory. "Mr Nitish Kumar is shamelessly trying to take the cover of conspiracy theory blaming political parties for the tragedy. It is shocking that the chief minister has lost all compassion and credibility," Mr Rudy said.
His party colleague Mr Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said the Bihar government cannot blame the Opposition for its failure.
"The Bihar government cannot take credit for the good work and blame the opposition for all the bad things that happen," he said.
Mr Hussain slammed Bihar education minister P K Sahi, who said he cannot guarantee that such incidents will not happen again. "The education minister is saying he cannot guarantee that similar incident is not repeated; in that case, he has no right to be a minister," Mr Hussain said and recalled that Mr Nitish Kumar had tendered his resignation when he was railway minister during the NDA regime for a train accident at Gaisal. "Why there is no similar moral responsibility this time from the Bihar education minister," Mr Hussain asked.
The JD-U spokesperson, Mr KC Tyagi, ridiculed Mr Modi’s projection as a national leader and said, "his own party chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has shown him his place" referring to the absence of Modi  from election posters in Madhya Pradesh. Amartya Sen had said yesterday that as an Indian citizen, he does not want Modi as the Prime Minister. "He (Modi) has not done enough to make minorities feel safe," he said.