Patna: The Opposition in Bihar on Tuesday made a scathing attack on Nitish Kumar government for the death of 17 people in a stampede during Chhath festival with RJD president Lalu Prasad demanding that the Chief Minister should resign on moral ground.
"Nitish should tender resignation on moral ground in the wake of this vast human tragedy on the occasion of Chhath... If he fails to do so God will punish him," Prasad told reporters.
Stating that "adminstrative failure" was responsible for Monday's tragedy, Prasad, who airdashed here this afternoon, demanded that a case be registered under section 302 (murder) of IPC against officials responsible for the construction of the makeshift Chhachri bridge that caved in at the ghat triggering the stampede.
The RJD chief announced Rs 50,000 each from the party fund for those killed in the incident and later met families of the victims, 10 of whom were women and children.
On the Chief Minister's appeal that politics should be kept out of human tragedy, Prasad, a known bete noire of Kumar, said, "How can we remain silent on such a big incident... Responsibility has to be fixed for the incident."
Other Opposition parties like Congress, LJP, NCP and Left too hit out at the government over the tragedy.
Nationalist Congress Party General Secretary and Union Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar sought a high level inquiry into the incident to fix responsibility.
He said in a statement the event proves that there was "inadequate" arrangement for Chhath by the government.
State Congress President, Chaudhary Mehboob Kaisar visited Patna Medical College Hospital, where some victims are under treatment.
The tragedy was a result of "complete failure" of the administration, he said and demanded registration of cases against those involved in the construction of the make-shift bridge. He also sought a probe by an all-party committee into the event.
LJP too blamed the government for the tragedy. Party National General Secretary Satyanand Sharma said in a statement that there was "inadequate" arrangement for Chhath that led to the "ugly episode".
CPI, CPI-M and CPI-ML too strongly condemned the incident which they said happened due to "criminal neglect" of the state government and the administration.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi met Kumar and the victims' families over the Tragedy.