Opposition RJD has stepped up and attacked the Nitish Kumar government over its handling of the COVID-19 situation as the campaign for assembly polls gains momentum ahead of the first phase of polling on October 28. Two Bihar ministers have died this week due to the disease.
The state’s Minister for Backward and Extremely Backward Classes Welfare Vinod Singh passed away in Delhi on Monday. Mr Singh, 50, was a BJP MLA from the Pranpur assembly constituency of Katihar district in northeast Bihar. He was elected to the assembly from the constituency three times.
Mr Singh was infected with coronavirus in June and had not fully recovered. He was admitted to a private hospital in Delhi on August 16 and died on October 12 following a brain haemorrhage.
State Panchayati Raj Minister Kapil Deo Kamat died in AIIMS Patna on Friday after he tested positive for coronavirus. He was also suffering from a kidney disorder.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, who is the chief ministerial face of the Mahagathbandhan in the upcoming Bihar elections, accused the state government of not doing enough to tackle COVID-19, reports NDTV.
“Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is ignorant regarding COVID-19 and is not concerned about the lives of people. Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey is doing nothing to tackle the situation and is only concerned about winning state election,” he alleged.
“The people of Bihar are observing all this and will not forgive this government,” Mr Yadav told news agency ANI.
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Chirag Paswan, whose party was initially keen on the polls being deferred due to COVID-19 situation, said that the visuals of rallies show that social distancing rules are not being followed.
He alleged that Nitish Kumar “does not trust” Prime Minister Narendra Modi and “did not ask for President’s rule” to defer the elections till COVID-19 situation improved further.
Bihar’s total COVID-19 case count stands at 2,02,290, including 981 deaths and 10,884 active cases, reports NDTV.