PM from Bihar? Not enough candidates
ot too long ago, Bihar had many aspirants for the Prime Minister’s post. One of the favourite slogans raised at public meetings was “Desh ka pradhan mantri kaisa ho (how should the Prime Minister be)?” But after the Assembly elections, the scene has changed.
hief minister Nitish Kumar has asked his supporters not to project him as a prime ministerial candidate. At a public function recently organised by the RJD, the party supporters did not raise the slogan in favour of the RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Lalu had at one time declared he wanted to be the Prime Minister. The third candidate — former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan — has not even bothered to hold a public function after his party’s disastrous show at the Assembly polls last year. The trio have long been known as the state’s political engines. “Two of them (Lalu and Paswan) have lost their steam. The third one (Nitish) refuses to surge ahead,” said a senior politician, declaring the state had lost all the three prime ministerial candidates at one go.
our JD (U) MPs — Monazir Hassan, Arjun Rai, Ashwamegh Devi and Sushil Singh — appeared before the party’s disciplinary committee to defend themselves on charges of indiscipline during the Assembly polls. Another MP, Lallan Singh, remained elusive. Lallan, the former state party president and MP from Munger, refused to pay heed to the notice sent to him. Lallan sent a letter to the JD (U) national president Sharad Yadav. The four MPs who appeared before the committee termed the charges against them baseless. Three more JD (U) MPs, including Meena Singh, Baidyanath Mahto and Mangani Lal Mandal, came but did not speak. They put up their defence in letters to the committee. “Lallan feels he is a bigger neta (leader) than the other MPs and deserves to be taken up by the national president and not a junior MLA like Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, who is the chairman of a committee,” said
hile chief minister Nitish Kumar never misses a chance to air his differences with the policies of the BJP, his allies are always guarded with their words. Senior BJP MLC Harendra Pratap recently learnt there were “too many” supporters of Nitish within his party. Reacting to Nitish’s opposition to the BJP’s Ekta Yatra, Pratap made a public statement asking the chief minister to “remain within his limits”. However, top BJP leaders, including state party president C.P. Thakur and health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, strongly defended Nitish’s statement and stressed the chief minister was within his rights to air his views on any subject. By evening, Pratap denied he had made any such statement and began defending Nitish’s opposition to the Ekta Yatra. If you cannot beat them, join them, ain’t?
Change chancellor wish
s the Raj Bhavan plays hard to get on discussing about which candidates should be the next vice-chancellors of the five universities, the ruling party appears to be floating an idea that would be more convenient for them. Octogenarian JD (U) leader and vice-chairman of the citizen’s council Bhola Prasad Singh stressed the chief minister and not the governor should be the chancellor. He insisted that by making such a move, the state government will be more accountable for improving higher education in the state.