Steadfast in supporting the dreams of Nitish Kumar, Nalanda district will once again be at the forefront in putting its stamp of approval on the "collective expression of people's will" to press for special category state status to Bihar at the historic Gandhi Maidan on November 4.
Going by the preparations made by the elected representatives from the district, Nalanda may top among 38 districts, with a conservative estimate putting the figure of one lakh participants turning up at the venue of Adhikar Rally.
But the claims made by local legislators, however, outstrip the estimate. Their claims have some basis as the proximity of Nalanda makes it convenient for the people to come to the state capital to express their solidarity with their leader. Moreover, JD (U) has two MPs, six MLAs and one MLC from the district.
Party's chief whip and Nalanda legislator, Shrawan Kumar said, "Arrangement for stay and food of 1500-2000 people has been made at my residence. But, as the district is very close to the state capital, majority of the 12,000-15,000 participants would be arriving on Sunday and would be served the staple bhaatdaal-sabzi before leaving for the venue by10am."
Party legislator from Biharsharif, Dr Sunil Kumar, who flagged off 70 buses today, claimed that more than 30,000 people would be arriving at the state capital by trains and hired vehicles, in addition to people who would be using their private vehicles.
"I have made proper arrangements for 6,000 people near Mithapur bus stand," he said. The lone woman legislator from Hilsa, Usha Sinha was modest in her claims and put the number of participants from her constituency at 15,000.
"Women participants will stay at the accomodation provided by Rajya Sabha member, RCP Singh. Several groups have left by Hatia and Magadh Express today and the rest would start on the morning of November 4 on 70 buses, 225 small vehicles, 200 motorcycles and even trucks. They will be served food packets," she said.
Islampur legislator Rajiv Ranjan, said he scaled down the number to 32,000 from the original plan of 44,000 due to the non-availability of buses. Of these, 24,000 will be arriving by trains.
"Almost 8,000 will be travelling by 96 buses, 270 SUVs and private vehicles. They would be provided Bisleri bottles and lunch packets on November 4," he said. Asthawan MLA, Jitendra Kumar, on his part, put the number of participants from his assembly segment at 25,000.