Opposition blames Bihar for failing to prevent blasts

Patna, July 7 (IANS) Bihar's opposition parties Sunday attacked the Nitish Kumar-led state government for failing to prevent serial blasts in the 1,500-year-old Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya town despite having intelligence inputs.

"The state government has to take the blame for its failure to protect temple despite receiving an intelligence alert in advance," Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad said, demanding explanation from the government on how perpetrators managed to plant bombs inside the temple premises.

He also added that the serial blasts at the Mahabodhi temple would send a wrong message to the world.

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

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentarian from Gaya Hari Manjhi said the incident has exposed the security preparedness of the state government. "Security of the temple was at god's mercy," he added.

Prem Kumar, BJP legislator from Gaya town, said: "The serial blasts have reinforced our stand that people are not safe in the state and government is not doing anything to protect them from terror or Maoist threat."

"We had repeatedly tried to persuade the state government to provide fool-proof security to the temple in view of the terror threat. But our suggestion was ignored," Prem Kumar, who was minister in the coalition government led by the Janata Dal-United before both the parties went their separate ways.

However, JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said that it was not a time to play politics. "The administration is doing its work and we should wait till something concrete comes out."

The Congress, which supported the the Nitish Kumar government during last month's trust motion after the JD-U ended its alliance with the BJP, also called for avoiding acrimony. "We should avoid blaming each other and wait for the completion of the probe," Congress leader Prem Chand Mishra said.

Two Buddhist monks were injured early Sunday in a string of bombings at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya where the Buddha attained enlightenment.

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