Opposition parties in Bihar stage protest against Nitish Kumar


Opposition parties in Bihar stage protest against Nitish Kumar
Press Trust of India
1970-01-01 05:30:00

Patna: Opposition parties in Bihar on Thursday marched to Raj Bhavan to register protest with Governor Lalji Tandon against an alleged derogatory remark of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

The activists, carrying flags of the RJD, the Samajwadi Party, the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, the HAM and other outfits, which constitute the “Mahagathbandhan”, were, however, stopped by police at the Income-Tax crossing in Patna, about a couple of kilometers ahead of the Governor’s House, resulting in congestion on the busy Bailey Road.

The protesters had skirmishes with security personnel, who faced a tough time in controlling them from crossing the barricades. They were dispersed after nearly an hour.

File image of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. Reuters

File image of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. Reuters

On Monday, while replying to queries about Grand Alliance, which he had walked out of in 2017 to return to the NDA, Kumar told reporters that he saw no hope for the loosely-knit coalition which was “picking up people from the road (sadak par se logon ko utha kar shamil kar rahe hain).”

Talking to reporters, RJD MLA Shakti Singh Yadav, who led the procession, reiterated that the chief minister had used the adjective “sadak chap” for Mukesh Sahni, a former Bollywood set designer who floated his political outfit a couple of months ago and joined the Grand Alliance last month.

Yadav also alleged that “the chief minister is on an abusing spree”.

“He (Nitish) first abused RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha by calling him neech (lowly) and now he has berated Mukesh Sahni. Kushwaha and Sahni represent Koeri and Nishad communities respectively, both of which are extremely backward classes,” he said.

The disdain with which Kumar has treated the two leaders displays his arrogance, the RJD leader said.

At a news channel event a few months ago, Kumar had declined to comment on difficulties faced in finalising seat-sharing arrangements in the NDA in Bihar on account of problems with Kushwaha, who was then a part of the BJP-led coalition and a Union minister.

Bahas ka star itna neeche mat giraiye (do not lower the level of discourse so much),” Kumar — who also heads the JD(U) — had remarked, following which Kushwaha alleged that he was called “neech” by the chief minister.

Later, parties like the Congress, the RJD and the HAM joined him in leveling the allegation in a bid to woo him into the Grand Alliance fold.

The RJD MLA also sought to downplay the absence of senior leaders like Kushwaha, Tejashwi Yadav, state Congress president Madan Mohan Jha, and HAM founder Jitan Ram Manjhi, who had earlier in the week hinted that they would be taking part in the march.

“What they meant to say is that their respective parties would be taking part. You can see for yourself, all Grand Alliance constituents are together,” he told reporters.

Incidentally, an hour before the Grand Alliance march reached the Income-Tax crossing, the area witnessed another demonstration by Savarna Sena activists, who expressed their anguish over the RJD’s opposition to the 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections of general category.

Parliament on Wednesday approved amending the Constitution to provide 10 per cent reservation to general category poor in jobs and education.

Carrying posters of senior RJD leaders, which were smeared with black ink, the protesters raised slogans against the party which has been calling the move to extend quotas to the poor from upper castes and minorities as a “gimmick”.

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