It was a function organised to commemorate the 95th birth anniversary of the late Chief Minister of Bihar, Bhola Paswan Shastri. But, the pain of loss in recent by-elections on 18 Assembly seats overshadowed the ideology he stood for.
Leaders after recalling Shastri's contribution to Bihar and Indian polity, tried to motivate the gathering and pass on the message that party was not demoralised with the setbacks.
"A lot is being said by the opposition parties that they have won the semi-finals on way to final Assembly polls. They are living in fool's paradise. But for me the semis were the Lok Sabha polls. This was just a practice match," said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Claiming to be moving towards the goal, Kumar said that his government was treading on the path of 'development with justice' and 'we will leave to voters to decide in the final', Kumar tried to remind people of the past and said, "What was the state of Bihar four years back everybody knows. But we have been able to turn it around in just four years."
What Bihar thinks today, the Centre emulates sit tomorrow.
Taking a dig at the LJP leader, the Chief Minister said that Bhola Paswan Shastri was an epitome of austerity. 'But how can Ram Vilas Paswan become somebody's role model where names like Bhola Paswan and Dasrath Manjhi are on the front row," he asked.
The JD(U) national president, Sharad Yadav said that win or loss in by-poll would not deviate the party from its ideology and the path of development. "We contested the last Lok Sabha poll on development plank and people appreciated our work," he said.
Yadav criticised the austerity drive of the Congress leaders as mere 'drama'. "They lived lavishly for five years and now talk of austerity. It's a shame for the country," he said. He also spoke against promotion of family tree in politics.
The building construction minister, Chhedi Paswan, said that if somebody works sincerely but does not get the result, it hurts. He demanded a statute of Bhola Paswan Shastri in the state capital and renaming of the Patna Maedical College and Hospital after his name. He also demanded that his ancestral village at Purnia be converted into an Adarsh Gram.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chief Minsiet Sushil Kumar Modi said that Paswan as a model of austerity. "But today, a drama was being enacted by Congress in the name of austerity. Austerity does not come in day," he said and clarified that the NDA government was not anti-Dalit, as was being made by the opposition. Others who spoke on the occasion-included minister Ramashray Prasad Singh and Hari Narayan Singh.