Patna: Former deputy chief minister of Bihar and son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tejaswi on Tuesday lashed out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Modi over their silence in an incident where BJP leader Manoj Baitha has been accused of mowing down nine children and injuring 20 others while driving an SUV in an inebriated state in Muzaffarpur district on Saturday.
“Neither Nitish Kumar nor Sushil Modi have spoken on this or sought apology yet. Government is trying to brush this under the carpet,” said Tejaswi Yadav.
Tejaswi also questioned the delay in the arrest of the accused BJP worker Manoj Baitha. He said, “Why hasn’t Manoj Baitha been arrested yet? News was spread that he surrendered before police. But we do not know that for sure. Only administration can say if he surrendered, was arrested or fled to Nepal.” On Monday, Tejaswi reacted strongly against the incident and said, “Prohibition in Bihar is a farce and the ghastly incident of Muzaffarpur, where a drunk BJP leader crushed nine children to death and left more than 20 others injured, proves our point.”
Tejaswi had later led a march to Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to Governor Satya Pal Malik.
Former Bihar chief minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s wife Rabri Devi said that until Manoj Baitha is arrested, her party will not allow the Bihar Assembly to run. She said, “The government should be ashamed, there is no complete ban on liquor, it is available easily. Until Manoj Baitha is arrested we will not let the house (Bihar Assembly) run.” The BJP suspended party leader Manoj Baitha, a district level leader of Sitamarhi, from primary membership of the party for a period of six year.
At least nine children were killed and about 20 injured when the speeding vehicle, driven by Manoj Baitha, lost control and ploughed through them outside a government school building on the outskirts of Muzaffarpur on Saturday.
The BJP leader from Sitamarhi allegedly got off the car and ran after he hit the children on Saturday. The complaint — filed by a man who lost five grandchildren in the accident — also said footage from CCTV cameras in the area showed Baitha was driving the car.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also took on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and mocked him over prohibition in the state.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi hit out at prohibition – a project close to the heart of the Chief Minister, which also brought him a chunk of votes during the 2015 assembly elections in the state. He also took a dig at Nitish Kumar’s “voice of conscience” — a reference to the time he had dumped the Congress and the Lalu Yadav to partner with the BJP to form a new government in the state. His tweet, in Hindi, read: “In alcoholism-free Bihar, a drunk BJP leader crushed nine innocent children to death. Nitishji, is this the truth behind your prohibition? Who is your voice of conscience protecting today — the accused BJP leader or the truth about alcohol in Bihar?”.