Following 30 deaths in Bihar’s Chhapra hooch tragedy, CM Nitish Kumar’s one-time party colleague and former Rajya Sabha MP RCP Singh has lashed out at the chief minister for sacrificing the state at the altar of his personal ambition to rule the country.

The former national president of Janata Dal-United, Singh, on Wednesday launched a tirade against Nitish Kumar and slammed him for abandoning the state to fulfil his personal goal of becoming prime minister one day.

Singh said, “Ever since he (Nitish Kumar) became the chief minister in 2020, he is not fulfilling the responsibility of the CM. Instead, he has started paying more attention to how the people of the opposition would support him in making him the Prime Ministerial candidate.”

“He worked with honesty till 2009. But since then he has been desperate to become the Prime Minister,” Singh added.

“You took a pledge that you will make Bihar a developed state. And 17 years have passed since taking charge, today Bihar’s GDP is the lowest in the country,” Singh reminded Kumar.

The former MP said, “And you used to say that the road will shine. Forget National Highways, even State Highways, Major District Roads, or even roads in rural areas are not fit for plying,” the former JDU president said.

Singh accused the CM of losing focus and not monitoring policies. “Liquor ban has been implemented, but who is monitoring it? Even today so many people died after consuming liquor in Chhapra. The chief minister’s focus on the state is wavering. He took an oath but his loyalty is missing.”

The hooch tragedy in the dry state led to an uproar in the state assembly on Wednesday between the opposition BJP and an angry chief minister, who blamed the opposition for backtracking on the prohibition issue.

The toll due to spurious liquor consumption in the Chhapra area of Saran district reached 30 by Thursday. Some who were critical succumbed. A list of 20 deceased was released to the media late Wednesday.

Losing his cool in the Assembly, Nitish Kumar was seen screaming: “What has happened to you? You (BJP) supported the prohibition at one time. You (BJP MLAs) are responsible for the hooch tragedies in Bihar. We all know that you are doing the dirty work. I parted ways with you… and it was my good decision. You are talking in favour of liquor in Bihar. It would not be tolerated.”

On Tuesday/Wednesday intervening night five people died. Later on Wednesday 15 others succumbed. The incident was reported from the Ishauvpur police station area first with three deaths.

“Three died, bodies sent for postmortem, these look like suspicious deaths. I have also received information that some more are receiving treatment at different places,” SP S Kumar said.

The sale and consumption of alcohol is completely banned in Bihar since April 2016.

Among the deceased Amit Ranjan was the first to die during treatment at Chhapra Sadar Hospital.
In a similar case in the same district in Bhualpur village in mid-August, five people died after consuming spurious liquor. (ANI)