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House debate over stampede

- Speaker rejects RJD adjournment call

Patna, Dec. 3: The Assembly today agreed to conduct a debate on the November 19 stampede in which 17 people died near a Ganga ghat during Chhath celebrations.

However, Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary rejected an adjournment motion mo-ved by the RJD, on the issue.

Raising the issue through a short-notice question, RJD member Samrat Choudhary tried to force an adjournment motion stating: “The tragedy, on one of the holiest days, occurred because of the administrative failure. The House must adjourn its scheduled activities to discuss the failure and also the negligence on the part of the district officials concerned. It should find out ways to ensure that it is not repeated in future.”

Though the Speaker rejected the motion, chief minister Nitish Kumar intervened, saying his government was ready to let the members discuss the issue in the House.

“We are not scared of discussion and debate if the members wished so,” the chief minister said.

Seventeen people, including nine children, lost their lives in the stampede that occurred at Adalat Ghat Lane, where the devotees were caught after a makeshift bamboo bridge caved in at Adalat Ghat on November 19.

The Speaker directed the business advisory committee to work out a date and time for holding the debate in the House over the issue.

During the pre-lunch session, BJP member Awanish Kumar tried to embarrass the government, alleging that the Bihar markets witnessed people spending as much as Rs 1,600 crore on shopping during Dhanteras.

“It suggests proliferation of black money in huge quantity in the state,” the BJP member argued.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio, said his department was yet to get the official data of expenditure on the Dhanteras day. “The data will arrive at the end of December,” he said, refusing to accept the proliferation of black money.


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