Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that he had been injured in a boat accident last week while inspecting the preparations for Sunday’s Chhath Puja.
A steamer that Mr Kumar was on board had collided with a pillar of the JP Setu during an inspection of Chhath ghats on the bank of river Ganga in Patna.
Authorities had then claimed that all occupants of the steamer were “safe” and shifted to another ship.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr Kumar explained why he was inspecting the preparations this week in a car instead of a boat.
He said he had been injured in last week’s accident, and proceeded to lift his kurta and show the bandaged wounds.
Mr Kumar said he had also hurt his leg and his abdomen bruise has caused him to avoid taking the front seat in his car, which would require him to wear the seat belt.
“But the work must go on,” the 71-year-old said.
The Chief Minister inspected the ghats, which will be teeming with crowds for the next few days as part of Chhath festivities.
He noted that not all the ghats had adequate arrangements and instructed officials to “call a press conference and announce which of the ghats had proper facilities for common people”.
Chhath Puja is Bihar’s most popular festival, transforming the state into a huge carnival for three days.
It begins with “Kharna”, falling on Saturday evening this year, when devotees undertake a gruelling 36-hour fast.