Ahead of the upcoming assembly elections, senior JD(U) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar reached out to the state's migrant population at two functions he addressed in Delhi on Saturday.
The chief minister once again raised the demand for a special status to the state, while hitting out at the central government for not consulting him before appointing BJP leader Ram Nath Kovind as the state's new governor.
"Established practice has been that chief ministers are consulted before a new governor is appointed. In this case, I was not consulted. I came to know about the development from media reports," Kumar said.
As part of a pre-campaign strategy reportedly conceived by his key advisor Prashant Kishor, Kumar plans to woo the migrant population at nine gatherings that he will address in including Ghaziabad, Mumbai and Kolkata, sources said.
"Kumar's outreach programme does make electoral sense, as migrants are the opinion makers. Since the elections will be held during the festive season, a substantial chunk of the migrants can also cast their votes in the state," a senior JD(U) leader said.
In the morning, Kumar inaugurated the Delhi chapter of the Bihar Foundation. The event was marred by protests by a group that raised slogans and waved placards asking him to "Go Back". As soon as he rose to speak, over a dozen youths started protesting against the alleged poor law and order in Bihar.
People protest against Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar during the inaugural function of the Delhi chapter of the Bihar Foundation in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
Suggesting a political motive behind the ruckus, Kumar said the protest was pre-planned to interrupt the event in order to garner publicity.
"This is not the place for politics. Political battles will be fought in Bihar,"Kumar said after the organisers evicted the protestors from the premises.
Outlining his vision for the development of Bihar at a function at the India International Centre, Kumar stressed the achievements during his tenure as the chief minister, saying that an erstwhile 'humiliation' of being a Bihari had been replaced by a sense of pride.
"The rule of law was established and improvements were witnessed on all developmental parameters including healthcare, women's empowerment and primary education."
In the field of higher education, the chief minister admitted, that substantial work still had to be done.