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Bihar: Agnipath protests trigger fresh friction between allies BJP, JD (U)

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The protests against the Centres Agnipath scheme that envisages recruitment of soldiers on a short-term contractual basis, triggered a fresh war of words between the two ruling allies – the BJP and the JD(U) – with the former holding the Nitish Kumar government responsible for its “inability to stop attacks” on the residences of saffron party leaders.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday, Bihars BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal, whose house was vandalised by Agnipath protesters, criticised the state government, alleging that its effort was “inadequate” to stop violent protests in the state.

He held Nitish Kumar-led coalition government responsible for what he termed as targeted attacks on BJP leaders in the state.

“When protestors attacked my house in Bettiah district on Friday, we called the fire brigade…they said fire tenders would come only if the local administration allows it,” a visibly upset Jaiswal told reporters. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devis house and several BJP offices were also vandalised by the protesters on June 17.

The state BJP chief said targeting people at the behest of the administration and torching offices of a particular party with police as mute spectators are unacceptable.

“We are part of the ruling alliance, but something like this has not happened anywhere in the country. It is happening only in Bihar. As a leader of the BJP, I condemn this incident and if this is not stopped, it wont be good for anyone,” he said.

Reacting to Jaiswals comment, JD(U)s national chief Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh, said, The central government took a decision. There are protests in other states too. Young people are concerned about their future, so they came out to protest. Of course violence is not the way. We cant accept violence. But the BJP should also listen to what is worrying these young people and their concerns. Instead, the BJP is blaming the administration,” Ranjan said in a video.

“What has the administration got to do with all this? A frustrated BJP is blaming the administration over its inability to contain the anger of the agitators. Protests against this scheme are taking place in several BJP-ruled states also. Why is Jaiswal not talking about the inaction of security forces in BJP-ruled states ?” asked Singh.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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