Bihar: Tejwashi-JDU and BJP lock horns as floods wash away approach road for a new bridge
RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav has demanded Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s resignation over the Sattarghat bridge controversy. Meanwhile, both BJP and JDU have hit back at Yadav saying that the opposition is “peddling lies”.
An approach road for a new bridge connecting Gopalganj to East Champaran in Bihar that was opened only last month was washed away by the Gandak river. The incident has led to a massive political squabble between the incumbent Janata Dal-United (JDU)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the principal opposition party – Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). The leaders of both sides are at each other’s throats.
Sharing an image of the caved-in portion of the road on his Twitter handle, the leader of the opposition (LoP) Tejashwi Yadav demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Bihar CM Kumar had inaugurated the Sattarghat bridge on June 16.
The bridge, constructed at a cost of over Rs 100 crore and over a period of eight years, is more than a km long.
The JDU-BJP state government, however, was quick to counter Yadav’s scathing attack on CM Kumar. Both parties came out with a clarification that it was not the bridge itself that had collapsed.
The Road Construction Department issued a statement, saying that the caved-in portion of the road was situated "two kilometres away from the bridge" and that it was the approach route for an 18-metre-long causeway that leads to the Sattarghat bridge.
"The causeway, too, is intact. The damage to the road is not the result of any defect in construction but due to increased water pressure on the Gopalganj side. The road will be made ready for traffic as soon as the floods subside," the statement said.
The images of the damaged pathway have gone viral on social media platforms since Wednesday causing huge embarrassment for the Kumar administration.
Yadav, former Bihar Deputy CM and RJD leader, shared the image, advertising it as a failure of the government since the chief minister had inaugurated the bridge.
The JD(U)-BJP have come together to hit back at the RJD leader.
JD(U) leader and Information and Public Relations Minister Neeraj Kumar, party spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad and BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand came out with strongly-worded statements, denouncing the opposition leader for "peddling lies".
“Don't you understand the difference between a bridge and an approach road? Despite being the leader of the opposition, you come up with such irresponsible statements", Neeraj Kumar fumed at Yadav.
As per the state disaster management department, both Gopalganj and East Champaran are among a total of eight flood-affected districts in the state.
A total of 2.18 lakh people across 137 panchayats have been affected by the floods caused by heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of neighbouring Nepal where rivers like Gandak and Kosi originate.
As of now, 3,676 people residing in badly hit areas have been evacuated.