Modi was not extended security due to a visiting chief minister: Jaitley
Condemning the serial blasts at the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rally venue in Patna, Jaitley attacked the Bihar government for its callous attitude. Slamming the Nitish Kumar-led JD (U) government, the senior BJP leader said: ‘Bihar government should forget about votes and fulfill responsibility towards the state.’
The senior BJP leader charged that adequate security arrangements for Modi’s rally was not made despite an alert issued by various intelligence and security agencies. ‘We are living in a vulnerable security environment. We have received information that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had warned of a possible threat to the rally on 23 October,’ said Jaitley, adding it was the responsibility of the state government to provide security, get frisking done and undertake other preventive drills.
The BJP leader asked: ‘In face of the alert on Patna rally what steps were taken by the government? The attitude of the Bihar government was casual and callous at the time of the blasts. We had no idea what to do when the blasts were happening as there was no senior officer to even inform us.’ Jaitley said Modi’s personal security officers from Gujarat police advised them not to address the rally but they decided to go against the advice as they ‘realised it was their responsibility to keep the excited crowd under control and calm down the environment.’
He also demanded a probe to ‘find out who were behind Sunday’s conspiracy’.
Jaitley, who was present at the rally, claimed people were allowed to enter the venue without frisking and after the blasts took place, the local police failed to explain the evacuation procedure for the people and the BJP leaders who were on the stage. He alleged Bihar police failed to ‘certify’ the advance security liaison ahead of Modi’s day-long visit to Patna.
BJP president Rajnath Singh on Monday said there was a ‘security lapse’ at the venue and extra precautions should have been taken. ‘Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar spoke to me on Sunday, expressed his sadness and said investigation is going on and assured me that within one or two days he will collect all information,’ he told reporters.