PATNA: The political battle in Bihar between the main Opposition BJP and the biggest ruling party RJD turned uglier on Wednesday as workers from both sides clashed on the streets.
The clashes come a day after the Income Tax department raided 22 locations in the Delhi-NCR region on firms and people linked to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Nearly 20 people from both sides got injured in the clash that broke out on Beer Chand Patel Marg, in front of BJP’s state headquarters in Patna.
Workers of the saffron party and RJD engaged pelted stones and attacked each other with bamboo sticks for nearly an hour even as chief minister Nitish Kumar was addressing a conference of bank executives at a hotel just 100 metres away.
Nearly 100 RJD workers initially staged a protest against the income tax raids outside the regional party’s headquarters, which is close to the BJP office, and then marched towards the BJP office, police sources said.
BJP workers said RJD workers forced their way into the BJP office and beat up people in their office. At the time of the clash, senior BJP leaders and legislators were staging a demonstration against the State’s alliance government at Gardanibag — two km away from the BJP office — as part of the party’s programme.
Normalcy returned to the site when armed cops and a riot-control van arrived. “This is proof of RJD’s shameless intention to stifle the voice of the Opposition by enacting jungle raj on the streets,” said senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
An FIR lodged later by some BJP leaders at Kotwali police station said RJD workers had attacked BJP state headquarters at the behest of Lalu’s two minister sons — deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav and health minister Tej Pratap Yadav. RJD national spokesperson Manoj Jha alleged it was BJP workers who had first attacked their people during the latter’s peaceful demonstrations.
Jha also showed a video clip recorded on a mobile phone as proof of is claim.