PM’s date with ‘Litti-Chokha’ rings election bell in Bihar

Hindustan Times, Patna | By
Feb 21, 2020 10:14 AM IST

Opposition in Bihar questioned PM’s gesture while NDA praised it and mocked at the opposition’s unease.

The picture of Prime Minister savouring Bihari delicacy ‘Litti-Chokha’ at New Delhi’s ‘Hunar Haat’ on Wednesday has set the bell ringing for Bihar assembly polls scheduled later this year with an intense political debate.

A political war of words erupted in Bihar over PM eating the Bihari cuisine, ‘Litti Chokha’ at Hunar Haat in Delhi.((Narendra Modi / Twitter ))
A political war of words erupted in Bihar over PM eating the Bihari cuisine, ‘Litti Chokha’ at Hunar Haat in Delhi.((Narendra Modi / Twitter ))

While the ruling NDA heaped praise on the PM for giving Bihar’s dish its “due”, the picture of PM sitting on a cot and having ‘Litti-Chokha’ did not go down well with the opposition.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav said it would have been better if the Prime Minister had instead paid attention to the real issues of people of Bihar.

Watch | ‘Eating litti chokha fine but..’: Tejashwi Yadav slams PM Modi


“Thank you respected PM for liking famous Bihari delicacy! Since Bihar CM can’t ask, I would like to draw your kind attention towards Bihar’s legitimate share pending since quite long: Special Status, Funds of special package, Flood relief fund, Funds of Ayushman Bharat,” Tejashwi tweeted.

He went to add, “The person who makes ‘litti’ had to migrate due to unemployment. What about Biharis who are fighting for the special status for the state.”

Yadav is currently on a state wide campaign against unemployment.

HAM-S leader and former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi wondered if PM’s gesture was a “signal” for Bihar elections.

“The PM does everything with a message in mind,” Manji added, his viewpoint finds support among political experts.

“He (PM) seems to be in correction mode. It is an unsuccessful attempt to placate the minorities on CAA. As far as eating ‘litti-chokha’ is concerned, only Bihar elections are left this year. He wants to connect but at the same time forgetting that Biharis also eat Dahi-Chura (Curd and flattened rice). How much this will help him, only time will tell,” said political analyst D M Diwakar of AN Sinha Institute for Social Studies.

The NDA leaders, however, mocked at the opposition and said the PM’s gesture was aligned with NDA’s vision for state’s farmers.

“It’s (PM eating ‘litti-Chokha’) causing stomach ache to many. It was a pleasant co-incidence that when the state government was discussing ways and means to increase farmers’ income and reiterating its vow to put at least one Bihari delicacy in plates of every Indian, PM by savouring litti-chokha has raised the prestige of farmers of the state,” tweeted Bihar’s deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi.

Bihar’s JD (U) minister Sanjay Jha tweeted, “Dear @narendramodi Sir ~ So heartening to see you relish the #littichokha at Hunar Haat at India Gate. For millions in Bihar, this dish is synonymous with simplicity, humility and earthiness! It’s part of our great culinary tradition, and of our pride.”

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    Vijay is chief of bureau, Patna. He has spent 21 years in journalism and covers political beats and public affairs.

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