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Published On: Wed, Oct 21st, 2020

Nitish Kumar’s Outburst Over “Lalu Zindabad” Chants

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nitishPATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday lost his cool when a group of people from the crowd started chanting slogans of Lalu Yadav Zindabad when he was addressing a rally in Bihar’s Chhapra. It was a unique and very uncharacteristic outburst of Nitish Kumar who is considered to a calm and composed leader in his public appearances.
A group of men standing in the crowd started shouting slogans of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav Zindabad, an act that didn’t go down too well with Nitish Kumar who publicly snubbed the boys raising the slogans.
“What are you saying? What did you say, if you don’t want to vote for me, don’t vote but don’t speak nonsense in such a manner here. This is not right,” Nitish, visibly fuming in anger, told those raising slogans.
The campaigning in the Bihar elections has picked up pace with politicians from various parties holding several rallies per day. In what is really different from the past elections, the candidates put up by the JDU have been at the receiving end of people’s anger.

Experts say that this is happening because of the massive anti-incumbency wave that is present on the ground against Nitish Kumar. Nitish Kumar has been the chief minister of Bihar for the past 15 years and is seeking re-election in 2020 in an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Reacting to an incident in Chhapra, RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari said that Lalu was not a leader but an ideology and such slogans are no surprise for him in Nitish’s rallies. He added that Nitish Kumar is rattled with Mahagathbandhan’s face Tejashwi Yadav.
Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav’s jam-packed rallies have gone viral in the campaign for the Bihar election starting next week. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader’s promise of creating 10 lakh government jobs, repeated at every rally, draws the loudest cheers.

Today, a different video showed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s angry reaction to slogans of “Lalu Yadav Zindabad” at his rally.
“What are you saying? What are you saying?” – a furious Nitish Kumar shouted in the middle of his pitch for Chandrika Rai, a long-time RJD leader and Lalu Yadav aide who crossed over to the ruling Janata Dal United recently.
“I see this promise about jobs but people don’t have knowledge or experience (to fulfill this promise). Have you seen such a thing in the entire world? Why only 10 lakh? If you’re giving jobs, then give jobs to everyone,” he said, questioning whether Tejashwi Yadav planned to raise money for his plan “from prison or by printing fake notes”.
That seemed to mollify Nitish Kumar somewhat but he continued: “Don’t do halla (chaos) here. If you don’t want to vote for me, then don’t… The reason you came here… you will destroy the votes of the man for whom you are here.”The outburst betrays just how much Tejashwi Yadav’s campaign cry of jobs and its unexpected pull among the masses has rattled the Chief Minister.
Yesterday, Nitish Kumar, aiming for a fourth straight term as Chief Minister, ridiculed the RJD leader’s claims at a rally, calling it an impossible promise that “no one on earth” could fulfill.

The push back has become critical with the Chief Minister and many ministers facing public resentment during their campaign. This is not entirely a surprise; Nitish Kumar had been criticized for his handling of the migrants crisis, especially after more than 32 lakh people were forced to return to Bihar after they lost their jobs and homes during the coronavirus lockdown. Also, the BJP points out, after 15 years there is bound to be “boredom”.
They had reckoned without jobs becoming a hot-button topic in Bihar and the 31-year-old Tejashwi, fighting his first election without father Lalu Yadav by him, resonating with the crowds. Unfazed by Nitish Kumar’s disdain, the RJD leader called him “mentally and physically tired”.
BJP sources said the huge crowds at Tejashwi’s rallies were “natural” and “may even translate into votes”, but it would all change when Prime Minister Narendra Modi started campaigning. Bihar votes from October 28 for a new 243-member assembly. The results will be declared on November 10.
(Bureau Report with agency Inputs).

 

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