Bihar Bandh: JD(U), BJP workers injured in clash; trains halted, roads blocked
Patna: Two days after the Janata Dal (United) called it quits with Bharatiya Janata Party, the friends-turned-foes on Tuesday clashed outside the BJP office here, leaving many injured.
While the principal opposition party observed a ‘bandh’ across Bihar, JD(U) and BJP workers beat each other up with lathis at ‘Vishwasghat Rally’.
Some reports said that Muslim women members of BJP including Fahida Khanam were attacked by JD(U) workers outside BJP office here.
Reacting angrily to it, BJP national general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, “What rights does the Bihar CM have to sent his party workers and stage a clash here (BJP office)? He must give an answer.”
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said: “We were observing a peaceful bandh. JD(U) workers misbehaved. They must not cross their limits. People of Bihar won’t forgive this.”
Sushil Modi, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rajiv P Rudy, Shahnawaz Hussain, Nand Kishore Yadav and other Bihar BJP leaders have also courted arrest.
Lashing out at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar earlier in the day, Prasad said: “Our alliance was ruling so well, and only because of ego issues they pulled out of the alliance”.
Several trains were forcibly halted and national highway blocked Tuesday as the workers and leaders of the BJP began a state-wide shutdown to protest the betrayal of ruling party JD(U) that ended its 17-year-old alliance on Sunday.
Nearly half a dozen workers of BJP and JD(U) workers were injured after they clashed and attacked each other with bamboo sticks and iron rods in Patna during the shutdown.
According to police officials here, JD(U) spokesperson Rajeev Ranjan and three other party leaders were injured when BJP workers attacked them following the clash.
The clashes took place after the BJP workers raised slogan against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD-U workers countered them by raising slogan against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a police official said.
The BJP workers stopped half a dozen trains, including long route trains, at different railway stations across the state.
“Several trains were halted…,” a police officer told a news agency.
Roads, including the national highway, were blocked at various places across the state.
“The strike supporters, mostly BJP workers, blocked important roads including the national highway and state highway at various place,” said a police official.
Authorities have “made elaborate security arrangements in view of the shutdown”, assured a senior government official.
In Patna, shutdown evoked mixed response with busy roads like Ashok Rajpath, Bailey Road, Patna-Danapur Road and Fraser Road being blocked.
“Shops and markets were also closed in some areas”.
Soon after the JD(U) ended its alliance with the BJP, it was declared as a black day by BJP that accused JD(U) of ‘vishwasghat’ (treachery).
The JD(U) has 118 seats in the 243-member assembly, four short of a majority, while the BJP has 91 members. There are six independents, while the Congress has four members.