Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s proposed ‘adhikar yatra’ to Bhojpur and Buxar districts of south-central Bihar slated for Sunday was ‘postponed’ at the last minute. This was the first time during his ‘yatra’ that an engagement has not taken place.
Bhojpur superintendent of police MR Nayak confirmed early on Sunday that the chief minister’s visit had been postponed. But he didn’t cite any reason for the last-minute decision.
Media reports suggested that the visit was cancelled in view of the CM’s “pre-occupation” with the situation in violence-hit Madhubani district of north Bihar. However, the story doing the rounds in the district headquarters town of Ara was that Nitish’s trip was deferred due to apprehensions that he may have faced protests in the two districts.
Fearing protests by contractual teachers, the Bhojpur authorities had directed ‘fixed pay’ teachers to report at their respective schools to participate in a painting competition and distance education training programme on the weekly off-day on Sunday to keep protestors away from the CM’s meeting. “The CM should listen to grievances of teachers instead of evading issues raised by them,” said Akhilesh Kumar, district secretary of the Primary Teachers Association (Gope Group).
Though the Bhojpur SP confirmed that the visit was postponed, neither Bhojpur DM Pratima nor Buxar DM Vinod Singh Gunjiyal spoke on the matter.
Nitish has undertaken the yatra to highlight his demand for granting of special status for Bihar in order to obtain central funds and special concessions for the state. The yatra is to culminate in a rally in Patna on November 4.