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Sharad suggestion to avoid ‘unruly’ people

Patna, Sept. 30: Khagaria can hardly be a place to address rallies, said Sharad Yadav prescribing politicians not to visit such places because of “unruly” people.

The JD(U) president was reacting to a question about violent protests faced by chief minister Nitish Kumar recently. “Those who visit areas like Khagaria, Begusarai and Muzaffarpur are bound to suffer as unruly people reside at these places,” he told reporters today.

Khagaria is one of the districts in the Kosi region bordered by seven rivers. Sharad recalled how he was “greeted in Khagaria by lathi-wielding men” during his political Madal Rath Yatra from Madhepura to Patna criss-crossing the Yadav heartland in the early 1990s.

Flood-ravaged Khagaria shot into fame for all the wrong reasons. Sharad also recounted how former MP Ramsharan Yadav reportedly assaulted a senior commissioner-rank IAS officer at the latter’s chamber. Khagaria has been the political fiefdom of Ramsharan and his family. The present MLA, Punam Yadav of the JD(U), is Ramsharan’s daughter-in-law.

“The people there do not understand the value of Satyagraha and anyone who visits the place is bound to suffer in the hands of unruly people. I do not go to such places and would rather ask others to visit there during elections only. Not only Nitish, leaders of any political party can face the same fate there,” he said.

Eleven policemen were today suspended for “dereliction of duty” during the chief minister’s Adhikar Yatra in Khagaria on Friday. Khagaria superintendent of police Mithu Prasad said they were suspended after being found absent from duty on that day.

He also denied that protesters threw slippers at Nitish in Madhepura — the Lok Sabha constituency Sharad represents. “I have seen some news channels making stories on the slipper episode. I challenge if something like this has ever happened there,” he said.

About BJP MP from Purnea, Uday Singh, holding a rally against corruption in the state today, Sharad said: “It is an internal matter of the party.”

He also opposed the Union government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail and said it would affect at least 25 crore people in India. However, the NDA would not bring a no-confidence motion against the Manmohan Singh government, he said, terming the Supreme Court’s judgment over the presidential reference seeking clarity over allocation of natural resources “unfortunate”.

A special investigation team constituted by the police headquarters to investigate into the large-scale violence during Nitish’s rally reached Khagaria today.