Nitish Kumar’s virtual mega rally for Bihar polls set for September 6
The JD (U) on Tuesday said chief minister Nitish Kumar will address the first big virtual rally on September 6 to roll out the party’s poll campaign. Ten lakh people are said to be joining the event through a digital platform.
The fresh date for the maiden political rally by the chief minister, originally slated for August 7, has been announced after the Election Commission said that polls will be held on time despite the clamour by the opposition parties to defer it in the wake of sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases and flood situation, a demand that was also backed by NDA ally, the LJP.
In the midst of uncertainty, the JD (U) which had completed the preparation and exercise for the roll out of the party’s poll campaign, on July 31 announced that it was putting the event on hold. In a one-line statement JD (U) state president and Rajya Sabha member Bashistha Narayan Singh said: “In view of the flood situation and Covid-19 pandemic, the party has decided to postpone the proposed virtual rally of the chief minister.”
Party national general secretary Ravindra Singh said, “The state assembly elections are going to be held during Covid-19 pandemic. It is, therefore, necessary to find out-of-the box solutions for public interaction.”
He, however, did not explain the idea behind the new coinage for the virtual rally that has now been christened as ‘jan samvad’ (public interaction).
Singh said that people can connect with chief minister’s ‘jan-samvad’ programme on September 6, which would also be live-streamed across CM’s Facebook and his Twitter accounts, and on YouTube and electronic channels, in addition to the homegrown digital platform--jdulive.com-- developed by the party.
Party sources said that separate teams of party leaders have been tasked to rope in the general public and sympathisers to hear Nitish Kumar spell out developmental initiatives and explain why another term for his party was in the overall interest of the state and its people.
RJD media coordinator Mritunjay Tiwari said that nothing has changed.
“First they postponed the rally fearing that their flop show would be exposed as numbers can’t be fudged on a live social media programme. Now, they are deploying their in-house digital platform. They are free to do whatever they want, but people are aware of the ground realities and the difficulties they face. No amount of window dressing is going to help,” he said, adding “last time the rally date fell during the lockdown, this time too, it falls on the last date of the extended lockdown.”
On July 17, Opposition parties jointly petitioned the Election Commission, suggesting that Covid-19 cases were likely to touch 1 million mark by October-November and the election exercise could just turn into a “super spreader event”.