Opposition RJD, Congress and CPI-ML today protested in both Houses of the Bihar legislature accusing the state government of “failing” to provide “proper relief” to flood victims in the state. As the state Assembly met for the day, RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui drew Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary’s attention to adjournment notice given by party members on floods and urged him to suspend all business and take up the issue. The RJD was joined by Congress and CPI-ML in the protest. The Speaker, citing rules said adjournment notice could be taken only at an appropriate time. Chaudhary said he was ready to call a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of the House to fix a time for a special debate on floods. He also offered to increase the time beyond two hours as mentioned for special debate in rule 43 of the Assembly. But, the opposition members did not budge and continued to raise anti-government slogans from the Well of the House. Reacting to the charge, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi lambasted the RJD for “mobilising people” for its Sunday rally at Gandhi Maidan, but being “insensitive” towards the flood victims. He said he had appealed to RJD president Lalu Prasad to postpone the August 27 rally and render services in the inundated areas. Siddiqui turned down the appeal saying the “rally will take place”.
BJP leader and state minister Nand Kishore Yadav accused the RJD of not being serious about floods but by raising the issue its leaders only want media attention. Parliamentary Affairs minister Shrawan Kumar said the government was prepared for any debate in the House as per rules. With the din refusing to subside, the Speaker adjourned the Assembly till 2 PM. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was not present in the House when opposition and treasury bench members indulged in verbal spat over floods. The CM was visiting East Champaran district to inspect flood relief works. In the state Legislative Council too, Congress and RJD members registered strong protests over “inadequate” flood relief arrangements and also over ‘Srijan scam’ at Bhagalpur forcing Deputy Chairman Harun Rashid to adjourn the House till 2:30 PM.
As per the latest update, altogether 367 people have lost their lives in inundation in 19 districts of the state which also affected 1.58 crore people.