BJP leaders keep their cool on the stage

Sunday’s serial blasts ahead of the BJP’s rally in Patna have evoked strong condemnation from top political leaders with Congress president Sonia Gandhi describing the incident as an act of subversion and cowardice and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj blaming it on gross intelligence failure.

But BJP leaders maintained a stoic silence at the rally on the issue, in a bid to maintain peace and calm. For that matter, the prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, while concluding his speech, appealed to people to return home safely.

The party Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said the issue had been played down on the stage so as to check panic reaction.

After the rally, Ms. Swaraj condemned the blasts in her tweet.

Ms. Gandhi expressed her shock and anguish and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice at the earliest.

On the other hand, her party general secretary, Digvijaya Singh, in his tweet earlier, termed the blast a coincidence and said it was a challenge for the Nitish Kumar government to find the culprit. “What a coincidence blast at Patna Rally on the day of Modi’s rally! Challenge to Nitish government to find the culprit.”

Another general secretary Shakeel Ahmed called for a thorough probe by both the State and Central agencies.

“Poor law and order”

Lok Jan Shakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan said the blasts exposed Mr. Kumar’s claims of good governance and the kind of law and order prevailing in Bihar. It had never witnessed such serial blasts earlier, he said.

Rashtriya Janata Dal general secretary Ram Kripal Yadav said it was proof of total failure of law and order, and pointed the finger at the Nitish Kumar government and the police, saying no proper arrangements were made though the rally had been announced eight months ago.

BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said the Intelligence Bureau and the Bihar CID had to explain their lapse. The Nitish government had no moral right to rule. She pointed out that President Pranab Mukherjee had cancelled his trip to Patna in view of the rally. “Had he come and such blasts occurred, what would have happened?”

Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav said he was not aware if there was any “wrongdoing,” adding one had to wait for the investigation to be over. However, his party MP in the Rajya Sabha, Sabir Ali, said there were two aspects to the blasts. “Who has benefited from the incident? Who has benefited from its timings?”

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