Janata Dal (United) ranks came off in total disunity following the cancellation of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s proposed ‘Adhikar yatra’ to Bhojpur and Buxar districts of south-central Bihar, slated for Sunday.
A tiff on the situation brought two sections of the party to blows, with chairs and sticks being freely traded, leaving many a local stalwart bleeding. JD-U leader Vishwanath Singh and his supporters were shouting slogans against former Barhara MLA Asha Devi and her supporters, which led to the clash in front of the ministers and senior leaders.
Bhojpur superintendent of police (SP) M R Nayak had confirmed early on Sunday, that the CM’s visit had been postponed. But he did not cite any reason for the last minute decision.
However, the word doing the rounds in the district headquarters town of Ara was that the CM’s trip had been deferred as much on account of fear that he may have faced protests during the visit. Officials, however, said, the chief minister was preoccupied with the violence that had overtaken Mithilanchal.
Indu Bhushan, president of the Akhil Bhartiya Rashtravadi Kisan Sangathan and son of slain Ranveer Sena chief Barmeshwar Mukhia, described the postponement of the CM’s visit as a ‘victory’ for mass sentiment.
“Any CM or public representative, who does not honour the sentiments of the common people, will have to face the same condition,” he said. Bhushan was upset as his list of ‘conspirators’ submitted to the police in connection with the Mukhia’s murder, earlier this year, has not been acted upon.
Raju Yadav, state president of all India students’ association (AISA) insisted that the CM had postponed his visit in apprehension of people’s protest his organisation had lined up on Sunday.
Fearing protest by teachers, the Bhojpur authorities had organised a ‘painting competition’ and a ‘distance education’ training programme on Sunday, a holiday, to keep protestors at bay during 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 primary teachers’ association (Gope group).
Even though the Bhojpur SP confirmed that the visit had been postponed, neither Bhojpur DM Pratima nor Buxar DM Vinod Singh Gunjiyal was prepared to say anything on the matter.
The rallies, however, were addressed by ministers and ruling JD (U) leaders, including JD-U president Vashisht Narain Singh, water resources minister Vijay Choudhary, food and civil supplies minister Shyam Razak, local MP Meena Singh, Rajya Sabha MPs Shivanand Tiwari and Ali Anwar, Tarari MLA Sunil Pandey, at the scheduled time, at the two venues.
However, with the chief minister not there and the news spreading in the area by 10am, the attendance was very thin at the rally, as was the security. Most security was withdrawn. The leaders also did not speak about the absence of the chief minister, though they exhorted the people to join the November 4 rally in Patna.