I did not plan Prakash Parv seating arrangement: Nitish

9 Jan 2017

With RJD and Congress resenting Lalu Prasad not being given a seat on the dais during a Prakash Parv event, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar today said he did not plan the seating arrangement.

"The function was organised by the Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee. They decided on the seating arrangement... It is a tradition to sit on the floor during such religious functions. Lalu ji knew it," Nitish told newspersons. "How come somebody say that I made him sit on the floor? This is an attempt to derive political advantage by creating unnecessary controversies," he said. "Lalu ji himself has given a strong reply to shut the mouths of those trying to spark a controversy," the Bihar chief minister said.

In a veiled attack on state BJP leadership, Nitish said that outsiders are praising Bihar "but a few among us are nitpicking due to political reason". RJD national vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Bihar Congress chief and education minister Ashok Choudhary, both constituents of the grand alliance government in Bihar, had on Friday resented Prasad not being given a seat on the dais alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kumar.

Former Union minister Lalu Prasad and his two minister-sons - Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav - sat on the floor in the VIP enclosure, with others. Kumar, Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan and Governor Ram Nath Kovind shared the dais with the Prime Minister at the concluding function of the 350th Prakash Parv to celebrate the birth anniversary of 10th Guru Govind Singh on January 5. The chief minister also highlighted the Centre's "denial" to give financial assistance for the event.

The Bihar government had written to both the NDA government and previous UPA dispensation, seeking funds for creating infrastructure for the event but did not get the desired financial assistance from either of the two, Kumar said and added the state carried out major works using its "limited" resources.