Patna: Joining issue with RJD president Lalu Prasad, Lok Janshakti Party Tuesday blamed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for death of 17 people in a stampede during Chhath festival and demanded his resignation over the tragedy.
LJP President Ramvilas Paswan told reporters here that his party national general secretary Satyanand Sharma, through a letter on November 14, had informed the chief minister that the make-shift bridge over river Ganga, which collapsed on November 19 leading to the ugly incident, was weak.
In the letter, the LJP leader had asked the CM to get the make-shift bamboo bridge replaced by a piped one, but the chief minister allegedly turned a blind eye towards the suggestion, Paswan said.
Making a scathing attack on Nitish Kumar, Paswan, who met families of some of the victims, said first he spent considerable time and used the administration for success of JD(U)`s `Adhikar rally` and later went to Pakistan showing least concern about arrangements for Chhath festival.
Paswan`s ally Lalu Prasad had yesterday sought resignation of Nitish Kumar on moral ground over the tragedy.
The LJP chief also demanded registration of case under IPC 302 (murder) against officials responsible for the construction of the makeshift Chhachri bridge that caved in at the ghat triggering the stampede.
He described the state government`s order for inquiry by Principal Secretary Home Amir Subhani as "an attempt to cover up the incident" and demanded a judicial probe.
The LJP president also highlighted the "inadequate" arrangements at Patna Medical College and Hospital to meet eventuality like this.