Bihar mid-day meal tragedy: 'Food was poisoned'

Bihar mid-day meal tragedy: 'Food was poisoned'
Amid the massive mid-day meal tragedy unfolding in Bihar, a nasty political blame-game has begun over who was responsible for the deaths of 21 children. While the Opposition in Bihar has slammed the Nitish Kumar government for being "insensitive" and "callous", the ruling Janata Dal(United) or JD(U) has hit back, alleging political conspiracy.
Here is what the leaders said over the incident:

  • The children were poisoned. Doctors say there was organic phosphorus in the mid-day meal. Excess of organic phosphorus is poison.
    PK Shahi, Bihar Education Minister 17/07/2013
  • It looks like a case of contamination of food but we are awaiting forensic report... This is an example where we should exercise caution. We will know the forensic report by today evening.
    MM Pallam Raju, Union Human Resource Development Minister 17/07/2013
  • The chief minister of Bihar instead of showing promptness in evacuating the children to a better medical facility has announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh for the children who died after having a mid-day meal. This showcases the insensitivity and the callous attitude.
    Rajiv Pratap Rudy, BJP Spokesperson 17/07/2013
  • Earlier, too, complaints have come in Bihar and still they did not look into it due to which 20 children died yesterday. In a way, they did not serve food but death on their plates.
    Jagdambika Pal, Congress leader 17/07/2013
  • The way the opposition of Bihar is responding, irrespective of their ideology and philosophy, is very sad... The reports that the doctors have given is that the cook is also the victim... I feel that it is a big conspiracy to destabilise the Bihar government.
    KC Tyagi, JD(U) leader 17/07/2013
  • BJP should not politicize this issue... They are demanding Nitish Kumar's resignation just beacuser he is not in alliance
    Shakeel Ahmed, Congress leader 17/07/2013
  • Extremely unfortunate incident.State govt must investigate matter & take action against guilty- #Biharmiddaymeal
    Manish Tewari, Information and Broadcasting Minister 17/07/2013
  • Earlier also we have received similar complaints... They (Bihar government) should take precautions... Resignations won't help.
    Tariq Anwar, NCP leader 17/07/2013
  • As regards supply of food, the school administration is given a cheque and they purchase according to the routine from Food Corporation of India. The 'Ayukt' has been appointed to investigate the matter and find those responsible.
    Shyam Rajak, Food and Consumer Protection Minister, Bihar 17/07/2013
  • There are irregularities in the mid-day meal scheme implementation and corruption is rampant. The Centre should take it seriously and implement it properly.
    Ram Vilas Paswan, Lok Janshakti Party leader 17/07/2013
  • A judicial probe must be conducted. What was the (Saran) district administration doing? Why was the quality of the food served under midday meal scheme not checked before being given to children? My heart reaches out to families of innocent children who lost their lives after eating midday meal at the school.
    Shatrughan Sinha, BJP leader 17/07/2013
  • An in-depth inquiry must be conducted. Strict action should be taken against those found guilty.
    Meira Kumar, Lok Sabha Speaker 17/07/2013
Story First Published: July 17, 2013 14:41 IST