BJP Slams Nitish on Ban on Cooking and Puja during Daytime in Villages

Fire in Darbhanga on April 24.

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Patna: Opposition leaders in Patna on Thursday lashed out at the Nitish government for issuing an 'advisory' in which cooking or organizing 'havan' during daytime could land the person in jail.

As reported, in the wake of several deadly fires across the state, officials in Patna earlier issued an advisory imposing a ban on cooking and conducting pujas between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm in Bihar villages to avoid fire in homes. Violators would be fined and/or jailed for two years.

Demanding a clarification from the government, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should explain why cooking was not allowed in the day time.

"What are people supposed to do, eat from last night's leftover? How are the villagers expected to feed their family? This is not an advisory; it is a sign of dictatorship in a poor attempt to hide the failure of the government. Instead of strengthening the infrastructure to fight fire in an effective manner, the government issues this ridiculous ban on cooking at home. What kind of advisory is this?" Rudy asked.

Former Bihar Minister and BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav also slammed the government for failing to improve disaster and relief management in Bihar and instead putting villagers in a state of quandary by issuing this hideous 'Tughlaq-nama' (diktat).

"The government has miserably failed in developing its emergency management system and has barred people from cooking to hide its failure. The Chief Minister should be ashamed of himself. Now people are being put in jail for cooking at home. Is this the type of government the people of Bihar want?" Yadav asked.

Unperturbed by the criticism, Janata Dal - U spokesperson and General Secretary K. C. Tyagi and Lallan Singh said the advisory was issued in the safety of the villagers and there was no reason for the opposition leaders to try to extract mileage from it.

"The opposition leaders should support the government and should not make it a political issue," Lallan Singh said.

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