The BJP-led NDA in Bihar, which has been ruling the state for about a decade and a half, owes an apology to the people of Patna who have been reeling from inundation following heavy rain, Union minister Giriraj Singh said here on Wednesday.
The firebrand BJP leader also attacked the Nitish Kumar government saying an alert had been sounded ahead of the downpour but it failed to ensure attentiveness in the
administrative machinery, which could have lessened the severity of the crisis.
"It is not a failure of the people of Patna. It is our failure. Residents of the city have reposed so much of trust in the NDA, especially the BJP. We owe an apology to them," said Singh who is the Lok Sabha MP of Begusarai in Bihar.
Singh, a former member of the Nitish Kumar cabinet, is a known detractor of the chief minister and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP leader.
"The government issued an alert asking the people to be on guard. But was it on guard itself? Had it been so, people would not have been compelled to suffer so much of
misery," he said.
On Tuesday also, the BJP leader accused the state government of corruption in flood relief and claimed that "floods seem to have become an occasion for celebration for
the state administration".
Patna has been a BJP stronghold since the 1980s when Lalu Prasad's RJD held sway over Bihar. In the 2015 assembly polls, which the BJP-led coalition lost badly to the Grand Alliance then comprising Nitish Kumar's JD(U), RJD and Congress, all the four seats that cover the city were bagged by the saffron party.
BJP legislators who have won from the city include state minister Nand Kishore Yadav, while Sushil Modi who is now a Legislative Council member, was a four-term MLA from the now-abolished Patna Central constituency.
The state capital was pounded by 342.5 mm of rainfall between September 27 and 30, as against the state average of 255 mm, an official release said.
At least 42 people have died in rain-related incidents in the entire state during the period following torrential showers.