Bihar mid day meal deaths: BJP asks Nitish Kumar to break silence

Patna, Jul 21: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday demanded that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar break his silence over the mid day meal tragedy in Saran district that claimed the lives of 23
bihar mid day meal deaths bjp asks nitish kumar...
PTI July 21, 2013 15:25 IST
Patna, Jul 21: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday demanded that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar break his silence over the mid day meal tragedy in Saran district that claimed the lives of 23 children.



"When the CM is alone claiming success of development of Bihar, he should own responsibility for unfortunate events like the mid day meal tragedy," former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said in Patna.

Asked about return of funds under the midday meal scheme by the state government when he was finance minister, the senior state BJP leader said between 2006-07 to 2009-10, a major chunk of the funds could not be utilised by the Education Department.

"If the Education Department is not been able to spend the money who will be held responsible, the chief minister or finance minister?" he asked. He alleged that the probe into the incident did not seem "impartial" as Education minister PK Sahi had already arrived at a conclusion.

Stating that there were facts contrary to what was stated by Sahi, he alleged that the statement by victims admitted at PMCH were taken by pressuring them to toe the government line.

He said Sahi had stated that the food material for the scheme was purchased by the principal from the grocery shop of her husband Arjun Rai.

"But, it has come to light that Arjun Rai is engaged in agriculture and does not own a grocery shop," Modi added.

He also questioned why the grocery shop had not been sealed so far.

The state government should ponder which other agency could impartially inquire into the tragedy at the Dharamsati Gandaman primary school after eating the poisonous mid day meal, Modi said.

He said that in spite of a spate of incidents like serial bomb blasts, police firing in Bhabua and Chhapra, the mid day meal tragedy, none of the senior officers were punished and junior officials made scapegoats.
 
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