Call to refrain from politicising Buddha`s relic

Zee News , Feb 5, 2007

Patna, India -- Disagreeing with demands for shifting the urn containing relics of the Buddha from Patna Museum, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday criticised senior RJD leader and Union Minister for Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh for trying to create an "unnecessary controversy" over it.

"I too know about the glorious past of Vaishali and will take a decision about its development only after a detailed discussion ... Nobody can force me to take a decision on shifting the holy relics by creating a media hype and politicising the issue," Kumar told reporters.

Referring to demands that the relics be shifted from Patna museum to Vaishali, where they were originally found, Kumar alleged that during RJD's 15-year rule no attempt was made in that direction and now it had launched a 'padyatra (march)' on the issue among others.

The RJD had launched a seven-day 'Vikas March' (march for development) led by Singh from Kesariya in East Champaran district on January 27 in support of various demands, including reopening of closed sugar mills, rectification of the BPL list and shifting of Buddha's relics to Vaishali.

During the 140-km long 'Padyatra' that concluded here on February 2, Singh alleged the state's NDA government was hurting the sensibilities of the people of Vaishali by denying them the privilege of keeping the relics at the place where they were originally excavated.

Kumar also advised Singh and other RJD ministers in the Union government to desist from making "false propaganda" about state government's "failure" to utilise Central funds.

Nitish Kumar said if these leaders had "grievances" about non-utilisation of central funds they should discuss the matter with him and state government officials, but should not "lie about the quantum of Central funds released to the state".

"Frankly speaking, the RJD ministers do not have any work in Delhi and they come to Bihar just to make their presence felt by making false statements," the Chief Minister said.

"The RJD ministers should not violate the federal spirit of the constitution by their unwarranted fulminations against the state government," Kumar said, adding the people of the state would not be guided by "false propaganda" of the RJD as they knew the "little concern" it had for the state's development during its 15-year rule.