Asserting that “we are building the bridge, they are destroying it”, Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav has blamed the BJP for the collapse of an under-construction four-lane bridge over the Ganga in Bhagalpur.
The statement marks an escalation of the war of words taking place between the Bihar government and the opposition BJP, and invited a sharp reaction from the latter, which said, “may god give him good sense”.
Speaking to news agency ANI on Monday, a day after the Rs 1,700-crore bridge fell like a house of cards, Tej Pratap Yadav, who is the elder son of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said, “The bridge has been demolished by BJP. We are building the bridge and they are demolishing it.”
Reacting to the statement, BJP Member of Parliament Ravi Shankar Prasad said today that the Bihar government should learn to respect taxpayers’ money. “What can I say about this? May god give him good sense…Nitish babu, two parliament buildings could have been constructed in Rs 1,700 crores which were wasted by your government. They should learn to respect the taxpayers’ money,” Mr Prasad told ANI.
The fresh exchange of charges comes after Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav had pointed out on Sunday that a portion of the bridge had collapsed on April 30, 2022, when the BJP was in power in the state in an alliance with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United).
Mr Yadav had said “many structural defects” had been pointed out by experts and they had pulled down many portions which had been flagged as particularly vulnerable. “Sunday’s incident confirms our worst apprehensions,” he had added.
Senior BJP leader and former state road construction department minister Nitin Nabin had accused Mr Yadav of hiding the truth. “When experts who inspected the bridge had already informed the government that there were serious structural defects, then why did the government allow the continuation of the construction work,” he had told PTI.
The 3.16-km bridge, which is meant to connect Sultanganj and Khagaria, had collapsed for the second time in 14 months on Sunday. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had ordered an inquiry into the incident, after which a show-cause notice was issued to the construction company and an executive engineer had been suspended.