| Chief minister Nitish Kumar at his janata darbar in Buxar on Thursday. Telegraph picture |
A relatively smaller protest in comparison to Wednesday’s vandalism at Narbatpur village greeted chief minister Nitish Kumar at his janata darbar at Buxar on Thursday. But its ramification was, apparently, wider.
A group of nine youths from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of RSS, shouted slogans against Nitish when he was holding the janata darbar. Slogans like “Nitish Kumar murdabad; gau hatya bandh karo (stop killing of cows)” rent the air.
The protest by the motley group of ABVP activists emphatically demonstrated that the JD(U)-BJP relationship has hit a new low. Minister of art and culture Sukhda Pandey, of the BJP, was present with Nitish at the time. But she stayed mum. Nitish, too, stayed engrossed in listening to the people and ignored the protesters.
However, director-general of police (DGP) Abhayanand, who was accompanying the chief minister, soon called up the deputy superintendent (DSP) of Buxar Sadar and other police officials, directing them to keep out the protesters. Sources said the policemen acted swiftly and removed the protesters from the site. “The ABVP workers had gathered there in a small group to give their message. They left the place after doing the same. The idea was not to create any bedlam but to convey the message that the Sangh parivar wanted Nitish not to disregard the BJP’s core philosophy while running the government in alliance with the saffron party,” said a BJP worker.
Most BJP leaders, including deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, besides state party chief C.P. Thakur and Bihar NDA convener Nandkishore Yadav, were away in Mumbai to attend the party’s national executive meeting and were not available for comment.
JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh said: “The BJP must put a check on its student cadres. It is unfortunate that the ABVP workers shouted slogans against the chief minister. We will ask Nitishji to take strong action against them.”
The ABVP activists also openly shouted slogans against “appeasement” of the Muslims- “Muslim appeasement bandh karo (stop appeasement of the Muslims).”
BJP-JD(U) alliance, of late, is on the rocks with the Hindutva elements in the saffron party engineering a revolt in the government at what the observers describe as at the “behest” of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The ABVP workers burnt the effigy of chief minister Nitish Kumar to protest against the setting up of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) at Kishanganj in February this year which health minister Ashwini Choubey defended.
Choubey recently created a piquant situation for the Nitish-led NDA in Bihar by heaping praise on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and projecting the latter as the future Prime Minister at a Bihar Divas celebrations at Surat recently. Nitish and Modi are believed to be locked in undeclared war for a national prize for quite sometime.
Modi recently asserted that there was no crack in the JD(U)-BJP relationship.