Bihar Opposition leaders have mocked Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi for his appeal to criminals to refrain from crime and illegal activities during ‘pitru paksha’ , a Hindu ritual in homage to ancestors. The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, though, said the “socio-psychological and political” context of Mr. Modi’s comment must be understood.
“Bihar Dy CM Sushil Modi shamelessly with folded hands begging to criminals, not to commit any crime in next 15 days as it dents his govt.’s image. Later in festive season u r free to do what u do like kidnap, loot & shoot. Shame on U Mr. Modi ! The hypocrite reciter of Jungalraj,” tweeted Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday.
His incarcerated father and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad also tweeted: “Begging before criminals will not do anything…governance runs by throwing one’s weight around.”
Senior party leader Shivanand Tiwari said, “The statement of Sushil Modi shows the Nitish Kumar government has totally surrendered before criminals…”
State Congress President Madan Mohan Jha and party MLC Prem Chandra Mishra, too, took pot shots at Mr. Modi, saying, “Mr. Modi’s statement sounds like criminals in Bihar have gone out of [the] control of the present government.”
However, ruling NDA leaders defended Mr. Modi. “The Opposition leaders must understand the socio-psychological and political context of what our leader Sushil Kumar Modi had said,” said State BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand.
Janata Dal-United spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said, “The bhasha aur bhav (language and its meaning) must be understood, but those who have studied in charwaha (cowherd) schools will not know it.”
On Sunday, while inaugurating the annual ‘pitru paksha’ ritual events at Gaya, Mr. Modi said, “With my folded hands I want to appeal to all criminals to refrain from crime and criminal activities during the time of pitru paksha that tarnishes the image of Bihar…”
However, on Tuesday, while launching the Dial 100 police helpline, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, “No laxity on the part of the police will be tolerated.”