Patna: A day after a senior JD(U) minister ridiculed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for saying that flood situation had been averted in Bihar due to the initiative of the Centre, the BJP today hit back at him for trivializing the union government’s efforts to prevent largescale destruction due to discharge of water in Kosi river from Nepal.
“The state government appears to have lost its sense after getting to know about serious efforts of the central government in containing flood situation in Bihar through a flurry of actions recently otherwise the Water Resources Department minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary would not have made a ridiculous statement questioning the External Affairs minister for stating that Bihar has been averted from flood this year,” senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said in a statement.
Chaudhary’s ‘ludicrous criticism’ of the Centre was all the more lamentable as he does not appear to know that his own government has thanked the Centre for averting flood situation in Bihar, he said.
If Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre had taken the flood threat to Bihar lightly, would there have been a need for Bihar Chief Secretary to write a letter to the Union Cabinet Secretary to thank him for whatever was done to avert flood situation in the state?, the former deputy chief minister asked.
Taking the WRD minister to task for questioning Swaraj as to whether Bihar had been secured from flood situation forever, Modi reminded him that the Centre never took flood threat lightly and launched multi-pronged actions with the Prime Minister himself taking stock of the situation through video conferencing on five occasion within a space of two days in addition to the Centre rushing helicopter, medical teams, army and NDRF units to Bihar to meet any eventuality.
It was at the Prime Minister’s behest that a team of engineers from India was rushed to Nepal to carry out controlled explosion in Bhotekosi river to regulate discharge of accumulated water there otherwise if blasts would been carried out in one go due to mistake or lack of technical know how, Bihar would not have been saved from devastation arising out of discharge of huge water from Nepal, the former deputy chief minister said.
Modi also sought to score brownie points over former chief minister Nitish Kumar for returning Rs. Five crore cheque that the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had sent to Bihar for assistance after devastation caused by flood in Kosi river in 2008 and asked whether the JD(U) leader will return helicopters, army and NDRF units, besides rescue and relief materials provided by the Centre in the event of natural calamity in Bihar in future.
The senior BJP leader also charged JD(U) leaders, including ministers in the Jitan Ram Manjhi government, with making baseless allegations against the Centre due to political reasons and at the behest of the former chief minister Nitish Kumar who apparently nursed bitter animosity against the Prime Minister.
The WRD Minister had yesterday expressed surprised at the External Affairs Minister’s statement in Parliament earlier this week that Bihar had been saved from flood this year due to the Centre’s efforts and dared the Centre to give a guarantee that Bihar has been made free of floods in future too.