Bihar CM presides over human chain to raise awareness on his govt's efforts
Patna: Millions of people came out on the streets in Bihar on Sunday to form human chains across the state in support of the Nitish Kumar government's environment conservation and social reform measures.
The chief minister, flanked by his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and other dignitaries, stood holding hands at the Gandhi Maidan in the state capital, where the participants formed a pattern resembling the map of Bihar.
Kumar, whose third consecutive tenure as the chief minister would end in less than a year, organised the event to raise awareness about efforts such as the 'Jal- Jeevan-Hariyali' drive, campaigns against dowry and child marriage and ban on sale and consumption of alcohol.
Speaking after the function - as part of which patriotic songs were played by musical bands - Kumar thanked the people of the state for making the event a success and said, "I hope the number of people who have participated exceeds what we had intended to achieve."
Official sources said efforts were made to include 40 million people, "more than the population of countries like Canada and Australia", in the drive and an exact figure would be available by evening. This is the third human chain organised at the instance of Kumar, the first being in 2017 followed by another a year later.
Opposition parties like the RJD, however, came out with stinging criticism of the event, dubbing it as a colossal wastage of public money and government resources.
RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav told reporters, "We would have appreciated, had the CM organized a rozgar shrinkhla - for providing jobs to unemployed youth - instead of the farcical manav shrinkhla."
Meanwhile, a 55-year-old government teacher died in this north Bihar district while taking part in a human chain organised by the Nitish Kumar government on Sunday, an official said.
The deceased -Mohd Daud- died in Keoti police station area close to the Runway Chowk where he fell ill and collapsed, Darbhanga District Magistrate Thyagarajan S M said.
Daud was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead. Hospital sources said the deceased had suffered a cardiac arrest though it was not clear whether he was suffering from a heart disease.