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Politics of flood relief in Bihar

September 12, 2008 18:26 IST

After the Kosi [Images] floods that rendered lakhs homeless, it is time for relief politics in Bihar, battered by an unprecedented deluge in its five north eastern districts.

As relief pours in torrents with corporates, NGOs, organisations and individuals chipping in which help, India presents the picture of a nation united behind the state and its hapless millions in their hour of crisis. But that is not not the case with home-bred politicians, who are at war with each other in their bid to outdo their rivals in the game of relief politics.

While Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his Rashtriya Janata Dal are busy targetting the state's National Democratic Alliance government with single-minded focus over its alleged lapse having caused the breach in the Kosi embankment and thus the floods, they are showing same aggression and tenacity in attacking Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for "abysmally poor" relief efforts.

"Fail hai! fail hai! the Nitish government has not not only failed in preventing the avoidable floods, but instead of making amends for the lapse, he has compounded the problems for the flood victims as also his own government by abysmally poor and insincere relief operations," Lalu said addressing crowds of displaced people at a relief camp.

Playing a perfect host, the RJD boss often supervises the serving of meals at the "lalu bhojan shivirs' run by the railways where he takes care to ask the officials and volunteers to pour more ghee into the khichdi  that has become a staple diet at most camps.

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