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Jul 23, 2013 at 04:58pm IST

Bihar mid day meal: No arrests, BJP slams Nitish on conspiracy theory

Chhapra: A week after 23 school children died after eating their mid day meal at a school in Chhapra in Bihar, there have been no arrests yet. Instead there's a shameful political blame game on the tragedy.

While the Nitish Kumar government has hinted at a political conspiracy to defame the state government, BJP leaders have accused him of lacking compassion and not taking any steps to either find out of the truth or to bolster the system.

At a meeting of party MPs, MLAs and office-bearers on Monday, Nitish alleged that the BJP and RJD had a "secret understanding" to derive political mileage from the incident. He was referring to the bandh called by both parties after the Gaya blasts and the Chhapra tragedy.

"The Forensic Science Laboratory, which highlights the presence of pesticide in the midday meal, has confirmed our apprehensions about a conspiracy behind the tragedy at a school in Saran. An understanding between BJP and RJD was very much visible both after Bodh Gaya blasts and Chhapra tragedy. Both had called bandh together and this confirms the secret understanding between them," Nitish alleged.

Bihar Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh also said that this was a conspiracy aimed at tarnishing the Nitish government's image. "Investigation on mid day meal poisoning in Chhapra is on and a report will be made public in a few days. We will also find out who is behind the incident to tarnish the government's image," Singh said. He also claimed that the BJP and RJD had joined hands and the truth would come out soon.

The BJP on the other hand has questioned Nitish for not visiting the village where the mid day meal tragedy happened. BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "It is unfortunate that Nitish is shamelessley trying to take a coverup with the conspiracy theory." He also said that Nitish may not have visited the tragedy-struck village "possibly because people from that village may not have voted for him in the Maharajganj bypoll." The JD(U) had been trounced in Maharajganj bypoll which had taken place after Nitish Kumar had already made it clear that he would snap ties with the BJP over Narendra Modi's elevation.

Meanwhile, the Bihar government announced the formation of an 8-member Special Investigation Team to look into the tragedy. Blood samples of four children who are in a critical condition have been sent to Mumbai. The principal of the school is still absconding even as a local court has issued an arrest warrant against her.