The political games continue. Over the past two days, the Bihar government has come in for sharp criticism as none of its Ministers were present at the Patna airport on Sunday to receive the mortal remains of CRPF Inspector Pintu Singh, who was killed in Kashmir on March 1.
The perception is thatChief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Cabinet colleagues, along with other NDA leaders, were busy with the Sankalp (resolution) rally, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The family of the slain inspector said it was an “insult” to the martyr.
Inspector Pintu Singh, 35, was killed in an encounter in the Handwara area of Jammu & Kashmir on March 1. His body was brought to Patna airport on March 3 enroute to his home in Bagras-Dhyanchakki village in Begusarai.
State ministers and leaders of the ruling BJP-JD(U) were conspicuous by their absence. State Congress president Madan Mohan Jha and Lok Janshakti Party leader Choudhary Mahboob Ali Kaiser were present to pay tributes to the slain paramilitary officer.
Barely, three hours later, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, along with senior NDA leaders and Cabinet Ministers, was at the airport to receive the Prime Minister who had come to address the Sankalp rally.
State BJP leader and Minister of Labour Resources Vijay Sinha along with associates and aides reached the slain soldier’s home in Begusarai late on Sunday night, after the Sankalp rally. By then, the ire of the slain CRPF inspector’s family had gone viral over social media.
In video which has gone viral on social media, the Minister is seen telling the grieving family that there was “communication gap and misunderstanding about the timing of the funeral”. He also said that because of the crowds at the Sankalp rally, he couldn’t reach on time for the last rites. However, the family members are heard telling the Minister that it was an insult to the “martyr”.
“It shows how concerned they are about the soldiers. NDA leaders were more concern about Sankalp rally of (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi. They have neglected to pay homage to a brave soldier who was killed for the country,” Pintu Singh’s grieving father Chakradhar Singh later told local journalists while, his uncle Sanjay Kumar Singh added, “Pintu has not received the honour he deserved from the State government…no NDA leader came to the airport… it hurts.”
Later, JD(U) national vice-president and election strategist Prashant Kishor tweeted to apologise on behalf of his party. “We are sorry for the error of judgement on part of those of us who should have been there with you in this hour of grief,” said Mr Kishor’s said.
Leader of Opposition in State Assembly Tejashwi Yadav slammed the ruling alliance’s ‘disrespect’ to the slain soldier.