Unlike in 1990, BJP leader LK Advani’s rath yatra will not face any problems traversing Bihar this time, because his party shares power in the state with the Janata Dal (United).
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said the veteran leader was free to come to the state, stressing the state government had taken some bold steps to remove corruption.
“Bihar has become a pioneer in taking some innovative and bold steps to weed out corruption from public life. It is the state where the property of corrupt officers is being confiscated in accordance with the mandate of the people. It is also the state where officials and politicians will have to mandatorily declare their assets annually. We are in support of those fighting to eradicate corruption,” he told reporters.
Asked specifically whether the rath would come to Bihar, Kumar retorted, “Why not? Is Bihar outside the country or what?”.
Advani’s nationwide rath yatra is on the issue of corruption this time, whereas in 1990 it was aimed at mobilising support to build a temple in Ayodhya in honour of Lord Ram.
On the orders of the then Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, the rath yatra was stopped at Samatipur, and this led to the withdrawal of the BJP’s support to the central government.
However, Prasad may oppose the yatra in Bihar this time also.