A video clip purportedly showing Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with a seer shouting slogans against RJD chief Lalu Prasad has added a new dimension to the bitter electoral battle ahead of the third phase of polling later this month.
Lalu Prasad’s RJD is a partner of Kumar’s ruling JD-U in an ambitious Grand Alliance which also includes the Congress.
The video, whose authenticity was not verified by HT, was released by Union minister Giriraj Singh, a senior member of the BJP which is locked in an intense battle with the JD-U for the politically crucial state.
The around two-minute video shows the seer, described as a tantric (witch doctor) by Giriraj Singh, expressing unhappiness over Nitish’s decision to join hands with Lalu.
Barebodied with a saffron loincloth, the seer also hugs and kisses Nitish before raising his fist and saying “Lalu murdabad”.
Nitish, who is seen laughing throughout the video, remained silent when the seer spoke out against Lalu, a former chief minister who has been barred from contesting the polls after his conviction in the fodder scam.
The seer is also heard reminding Nitish about his “responsibilities” with JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar asking him to bless the chief minister.
The grainy video clip, which appeared to have been shot with a mobile phone, has gone viral on social media prompting an embarrassed JD-U to come out in defense of the chief minister.
The party said the video clip was shot at Neeraj Kumar’s house in Mokama, from where he is contesting the polls.
Though Nitish Kumar was yet to respond to the clip, TV reports showed Lalu Prasad dismissing it as “useless”
“I am a bigger tantric,” Lalu was quoted by saying in the reports.
Giriraj Singh mocked Nitish Kumar saying that the chief minister was in distress and that’s why he was trying all sorts of “black magic” to win the assembly polls.
“It seems Kumar is losing faith on the people. The people have rejected him in the first two phases of the elections and that’s why Nitishji, in distress and disappointment, went to a tantric,” Singh said.
JD-U spokesperson Sanjay Singh defended Nitish Kumar saying that “visiting a baba is not a crime”.
“Why, does only the BJP has the right to pay obeisance to gods and goddesses? Do they have a copyright on sadhus and saints?” Singh added.
The third phase of polls on October 28 will decide the fate of more than 800 candidates in 50 constituencies spread over six districts.