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Bihar: BJP 'asthi kalash yatra' ends, war of words with JDU escalates


Prabhakar Kumar,CNN-IBN
Nov 05, 2013 at 03:15pm IST

Patna: Patna serial blasts have become a full fledged political battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Janata Dal United (JD(U)) in Bihar. The BJP's Asthi Kalash Yatra culminated carrying the urn of ash of six people killed in the October 27 blasts on Tuesday.

The ashes of those who died in the blasts were taken across Bihar in a week-long procession by the BJP amid fierce criticism from the JD(U) that the party is exploiting grief for political reasons.

The JD(U) questioned the BJP's motives questioning the motive. JD(U) leaders asked whether the yatra was to express empathy with the victims of Patna blasts or an attempt to polarise voters.

JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said, "It just shows what BJP's real plan is. Where the customary rituals of 13 days have not been performed, and you are taking out Asthi Kalash yatra doing BJP zindabad and Modi zindabad. What business do they have to do like this."

Chief Minister Nitish Kuamr too accused the BJP of creating disharmony in the state.

The "asthi kalash yatra" is also being compared to a yatra undertaken in Gujarat after the burning Sabarmati Express coach in 2002. The yatra was followed by massive riots in Gujarat.

But Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi denied that his party was seeking political mileage. He said, "Where is the question of polarisation, we aren't speaking against any community. This is propoaganda of Nitish by the way he behaved and risked the lives of lakhs of Biharis by not providing safety arrangements. I don't think there is any politics in this."

Through the yatra, the BJP is trying to consolidate pro-Modi wave and fan anti-Nitish sentiments. The JD(U) is finding it tough to counter the way its leader Nitish Kumar has come under direct line of fire.

As Modi threatens to convert Bihar into his big battleground state, the challenge is for Nitish to come up with a political strategy. He has to maintain law and order first and then to counter the Modi-fied BJP.

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