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Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today criticised Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other NDA leaders again for skipping yesterday a function to celebrate the Champaran Satyagraha centenary. Addressing a programme related to the centenary here, Kumar said they had invited the Union home minister to the function, attended by President Pranab Mukherjee, in Patna to honour the freedom fighters from across the country. "After giving his consent to attend the function, the home minister chose to skip," Kumar said ruing the alleged politicisation of the event. He said the Union home minister was invited because it is his ministry which responsible to honour the freedom fighters. "Those sitting in power today should not forget that they are there because of the independence achieved by these freedom fighters... One should not look left and right on such things," Kumar said making an oblique reference to the BJP. Both Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad had denounced Singh's absence from the function, attended by them as well as Governor Ramnath Kovind, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav. Kumar also took potshots at the BJP's plan to observe 'Kisan Kumbh' (farmers' congregation) tomorrow at Motihari as part of the Champaran Satyagraha centenary celebration. "I saw big hoardings of the BJP 'kisan kumbh' on April 19 at Motihari.
It's a good thing... I wish to humbly ask them to tell what happened to their promises made to farmers during the 2014 general election to provide minimum support price by adding 50 per cent on the input cost," he quipped. BJP President Amit Shah too has been invited to the Kisan Kumbh, slated for tomorrow at Motihari, but he has cancelled his visit. It would be attended by Union ministers Ananth Kumar, Radha Mohan Singh and Ravishankar Prasad among others. The chief minister was addressing a function here to mark the historic event of Gandhiji's appearance in the court of of sub-divisional magistrate here on April 18, 1917. Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, Minister Madan Mohan Jha and Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh were present. Earlier, Kumar joined a seven-km "smriti padyatra" from Chandrahiya (where Gandhiji was stopped by the British administration on way to Jassaulipatti village in 1917) to Motihari to retrace the route of the journey undertaken by the Mahatma. The state government was carrying out welfare measures for the people on the basis of Gandhiji's philosphy, Kumar said citing as example his government's efforts towards women empowerment and liquor ban. He said his government had decided to enforce total prohibition only to coincide with the centenary celebration of the Champaran Satyagraha. The chief minister said besides the liquor ban, his government intended to run an intensive campaign against child marriage and dowry too.
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