Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan castigated his Bihar counterpart, Nitish Kumar, for “indulging in cheap politics”. Nitish Kumar lashed out at Maharashtra for letting MNS chief Raj Thackeray get away with “inflammatory statements” and also accused the Chavan-led government of “shying away from its responsibility and outsourcing governance”. Stating that Kumar’s remarks smacked of politics, Chavan said he would respond to this at an appropriate time.
The war of words between the two states started over a letter written to the Mumbai police chief and the state chief secretary following the arrest of Abdul Qadir Ansari, accused of vandalizing the Martyrs’ Memorial on August 11, from Sitamarhi district on August 27. Objecting to the Mumbai police not informing the local authorities before the arrest, the letter warned of legal action if such acts were repeated. Reacting to the letter, Raj Thackeray lashed out at the Bihar government, threatening to send away all their people staying here if the Bihar police hindered the Mumbai cops’ search for criminals from Maharashtra. His remarks evoked strong response from Nitish Kumar who defended the letter.
Chavan, however, reiterated the state’s stand that the Mumbai police were within their rights to arrest Ansari in the manner they did. State officials have cited sections 41 and 48 of CrPc, which allow the arrest of a person without a warrant and from any part of the country. “Bihar is not a foreign territory,” Chavan said. While objecting to Kumar’s statement concerning law and order in the state, the CM said the police were examining Raj’s speech for “inflammatory statements”.
The Shiv Sena, for the first time in the past six years,has publicly supported Raj Thackeray who is in the eye of a political storm following his statement on the people of Bihar and his warnings to Hindi news channels to adhere to objectivity or face “dire consequences”.
In a scathing editorial, Saamna slammed the Bihar chief secretary for his stinker to his Maharashtra counterpart. In his letter, the Bihar chief secretary Navin Kumar wrote to his Maharashtra counterpart, Jayant Kumar Banthia, saying the Mumbai police should first inform the Bihar government before stepping into the state to arrest or trace a criminal there. Taking Navin Kumar to task, Saamna said, “Abdul Qadir is a traitor. The Bihar government and the politicians shouldn’t have rushed to the defence of an anti-national criminal...Qadir is not ‘Mr Gentleman’… Bihari politicians shouldn’t fall prey to vote-bank politics.”