16/01/2017 4:04 PM IST | Updated 16/01/2017 4:50 PM IST

Nitish Kumar Rejects BJP Demand To Defer Forming Longest Human Chain In Support Of Prohibition

He was asked to postpone the programme in view of the boat tragedy that killed 24.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

PATNA -- Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday rejected BJP's demand to postpone its programme of forming the world's longest human chain on January 21 in support of prohibition in the state in view of the boat tragedy that claimed 24 lives.

"The world's longest human chain will take place as per its programme on January 21," Nitish Kumar said in reply to senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi's demand to postpone the programme following Saturday evening's boat tragedy.

"Human chain in support of prohibition is part of a social campaign and sponsored by the state government. It will make history," the Janata Dal-United chief added.

He recalled that after a major train accident last year in November near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, the Bihar government cancelled its function of presenting its report card but the BJP went ahead with its programme in UP.

Nitish Kumar said he has been appealing to people and all political parties to join the human chain in support of prohibition in the state.

Three satellites, including one foreign and two of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), four aircraft, two helicopters and 40 drones will be used to click images of the "world's longest human chain" stretching over 11,000-km on January 21 in support of prohibition in Bihar, officials said.

According to government officials, nearly 20 million people will join the human chain across the state.

"They will hold their hands together for 45 minutes from 12.15 p.m. to 1 p.m.," an official added.

Nitish Kumar imposed a total liquor ban in Bihar on April 5, last year. After this, more than 16,000 people have been arrested on charges of either consuming or transporting liquor in the state.

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