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Patna : RJD and Congress, two important allies in the Grand Alliancen government led by Nitish Kumar, on January 15 demanded sacking of officials for their failure to prevent Ganga boat tragedy on January 14 and the opposition BJP demanded resignation of the CM.

In an unusual development, Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind directly talked to the DM of  Patna S K Agarwal and inquired about the relief and rescue operation. CM Nitish Kumar called DMs of Patna and Saran districts at his residence and sought details of the arrangements made for visitors to Kite festival.
National disaster management authority on January 15 clarified they were not informed about any Kite festival in Sabalpur diara (riverine area) opposite Gandhi Ghat nor their services were called by the authorities. NDRF reached the Gandhi Ghat following reports of boat tragedy and continued rescue in the night too. Four more bodies were
recovered on January 15 by NDRF which pressed seven rescue boats into service.

RJD president Lalu Prasad, in a statement, said since the Kite festival was organised by the state government, all arrangements including ferrying the participants should have been made by the government. Stern action should be taken against the guilty officers. His party colleague and senior MLA Bhai Birendra demanded sacking of DM of Patna for his failure to arrange boats from Sambalpur to Patna.

Education minister and Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Kumar Chaudhury demanded sacking of the officials engaged in organising festival without adequate arrangement. There was lapse on the part of the administration, he said.
Kite festival was organised by state tourism department, which issued invitations to kite lovers through big advertisements in all local newspapers. They were promised free cruise service by the tourism department. However, the cruise could not come to the Sabalpur diara in the afternoon on January 14 and people were forced to return to Patna on overcrowded boats. Officials said over 50,000 people had gone to  enjoy the Kite festival.

State BJP president Nityanand Rai, who was prevented from going the site of the tragedy, demanded resignation of CM Nitish Kumar. Former deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the CM had
taken credit for the success of Guru Parva which concluded on January 5 now he should accept blame for the boat tragedy. Nitish’s skill in organising the Guru Parva was appreciated by PM Narendra Modi also.

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