BJP, RJD slam Nitish over terrorist strike in Bodh Gaya

New Delhi/Patna, July 7 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Sunday said the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar had ignored intelligence reports of possible terrorist strikes in the state.

The allegations came after a series of bomb blasts at the Mahabodhi Temple early Sunday morning in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, left two monks injured and spread panic.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, however, insisted that his administration had not ignored intelligence inputs warning of terrorist attacks.

The Congress slammed the BJP for its criticism of the Bihar government, pointing out that the BJP, until last month, was part of the coalition in power in the state.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Nitish Kumar-led government has to answer why it did not take any action, despite being warned that attacks were planned on the over two-millennia-old temple that draws millions of pilgrims and tourists from across the world.

"There had been repeated intelligence inputs about possible terror attacks. The state government had also been told about recce that had been conducted by terror elements of the place, especially in context of the violence in Myanmar," said Prasad, referring to the sectarian violence in Myanmar where scores of people have been killed in unrest between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad said the state government has to take the blame for its failure to protect the temple, despite the warning. He also sought to know, from the government, how the bombs were taken into the temple premises.

"This will discourage tourists, particularly foreigners, who want to visit Bodh Gaya. It is a matter of concern," the RJD chief said.

Lok Janshakti Party supremo Ramvilas Paswan said the blasts reflected the failure of the state government.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh said: "Any effort to destabilise the country, to destabilise the state and to bring about communal disturbance should be fought at all levels. It is not even a month (since it withdrew from the government) and the BJP feels that the law and order in Bihar is so bad that they (the Nitish Kumar government) can't handle anything," he said.

Nitish Kumar refuted allegations of having ignored intelligence inputs. He said CCTV inputs were being analysed to identify the people behind the blasts.

"All the security arrangements were in place. We have earlier also done a thorough check of the security arrangements according to what people thought was appropriate," he said.

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