Patna, Sept. 21: Chief minister Nitish Kumar said maintaining communal amity and adopting measures to provide relief to the people battling drought and flood should be the focus at present.
Nitish returned here today after a two-day visit to New Delhi. “The violence in Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh) had driven the entire country to a state of anxiety. It is high time to maintain amity, brotherhood and affection in all sections of society. In case of dispute, the social sections concerned should find out ways in mutual cooperation with each other,” he said. “The society can neither stay in peace nor can it prosper in the absence of social harmony.”
Though Nitish did not mention either the BJP or its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, his remarks, apparently, suggested that the “divisive forces are at work” to disturb the atmosphere of peace and amity. “The Centre will soon convene a meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC). We (all chief ministers) shall attend it offering our suggestion to restore the social harmony,” Nitish said, adding that his government had already made a provision of making the district magistrates and the superintendents of police concerned jointly responsible for action on violence in their respective jurisdictions.
About the response of the Prime Minister on his demand of Rs 12,000 crore to combat drought in 33 districts, Nitish said the central team would arrive in Bihar in October to assess the situation. “We have placed the demand only on our initial assessment. The failure of monsoon — if it continues till the end of the rainy season — might adversely affect the rabi crops too in addition to already damaging the kharif crops. We will submit a comprehensive memorandum later after fully assessing the situation.”
Nitish said special assistance was required to work on the parameters of the disaster management laws. “I apprised the Prime Minister that it was the duty of the Centre to assist a state facing a disaster-like situation,” he said.