Within hours of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar attacking his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, the BJP today hit back at him for his 'silence' on the Congress and spurt in activities of Indian Mujahideen in the state.
"You have charged us with weakening the anti-Congress forces, but conveniently chosen to keep silent on corruption and scams during the Congress-led UPA rule at the Centre for which India has been shamed the world over," senior BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad told reporters here.
"You have also not spoken on the price rise and the falling rupee," Prasad said.
He accused the JD(U) leader of returning a favour to the Congress for support of its four MLAs for the survival of his government which was reduced to minority after he dumped the BJP to protest his Gujarat counterpart's elevation as its party's poll panel chief and then as prime ministerial candidate.
The BJP leader expressed amusement at Kumar not expressing concern on a string of terror attacks in Bihar in recent months nor taking the IM's name once during his speech despite arrest of its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal from the state and that the outfit was behind Bodh Gaya and Patna serial blasts.
"Bihar has become a big hub of IM activities as proved by involvement of its modules in Bodh Gaya and Patna serial blasts, besides arrest of Bhatkal and others from the state," he said.
Bhatkal had recruited IM modules in Darbhanga, Madhubani and other districts during his year-long stay till his arrest and some of its activists from Jharkhand carried out the serial blasts in Patna as corroborated by arrest of an IM operative, Tehsin Akhtar, from the neighbouring state, Prasad said.
The senior BJP leader also accused the state government of not coordinating and cooperating with central security agencies to rein in IM activities in Bihar.
Charging the state government with being soft toward IM modules in Bihar, Prasad said that the state government had instructed the Bihar Police not to arrest Bhatkal or question him about IM activities in the state.
The police of many states, including Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, questioned the IM co-founder, but the Bihar police were not allowed to do this, he said pointing out that the state government had earlier objected to the arrest of some terror suspects from Bihar by police of other states.
The BJP leader alleged that the chief minister did not allow the state police to function with independence as there was no reason that the same officers who served with central government agencies with distinction were unable to deal with law and order and the terror threat in Bihar.
Prasad also criticised Kumar for saying that there was no specific intelligence input about terror threat to Modi and said that the IB and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had publicly contradicted him.
On the chief minister terming his Gujarat counterpart 'arrogant', the BJP leader said that the use of terms 'fascists' and 'Hitler' applied to him and not to Modi.
On Kumar's yet jibe that 'hunkar' (battle cry) amounted to arrogance, Prasad said that the chief minister should improve his knowledge and read scriptures and know that the word meant a cry for change.
He said that former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had used the word arrogance against political adversaries during 1977 and 1989 general elections to whom they subsequently lost.
About disgruntled JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari speaking in a discordant note at the JD(U) 'Chintan Shivir' to the embarrassment of the chief minister, the BJP leader said that the division in the ruling party ran much deeper and would be exposed after declaration of results of the assembly elections in five states later this year.
On some Congress leaders pointing accusing fingers at the BJP for the blasts in various states in the run up to the general elections, Prasad asked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to rein them in for making baseless remarks about his party.
On the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde cancelling his Bihar visit, the BJP leader regretted that the minister had time to release the music of a film and not come to Bihar to take stock of the situation arising out of the serial blasts.
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