PATNA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took an hour-long helicopter ride over four flood-hit districts of Bihar on Saturday, accompanied by his new friend, the chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The ride came a day before Lalu Prasad Yadav’s mega rally in Patna to bring together the nation’s opposition parties. Lalu Prasad Yadav thinks the real purpose of Narendra Modi’s helicopter survey of floods in Bihar just a gimmick to draw attention away from the opposition rally.
The BJP has been barracking Lalu Prasad Yadav for organising a political rally while 19 districts of Bihar have been ravaged by floods, affecting 1.58 crore people and taking the lives of 415. In reply, Lalu Prasad accused the BJP of trying to foil opposition rally by inviting the Prime Minister to conduct an aerial survey just on the eve of his rally.
“Will postponing the rally end floods in Bihar? Why did not the PM visit Bihar during the floods last year? This is a political gimmick aimed at foiling the RJD’s rally,” said Lalu Prasad Yadav.
This is the first visit by the Prime Minister to Bihar since Nitish Kumar ditched the alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD and hitched up with the NDA.
The hour-long aerial survey by the Prime Minister took in the floodscape in four districts: Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar. The PM saw extensive damage to roads, railway lines, buildings and crops. After the survey, Narendra Modi held a meeting with senior officials of the state government at Purnea.
During the 50-minute meeting, he was given preliminary stats on the damage caused by the floods. A central team will visit the state for a comprehensive assessment of damage and recommend a rehabilitation package from the Centre, a senior official said.