Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday ticked off the backstage boys for setting up a “shaky and divided” stage for the JD(U)’s Adhikar Rally.
Taking stock of the preparations for the rally at the Gandhi Maidan, the engineer in Nitish spotted a gap between the concrete and the plywood platforms. When he embarked on the plywood part of the stage, it started shaking. A visibly upset Nitish asked the people setting up the stage on the western side of the ground to fix the faults by Friday afternoon.
The time ticking, labourers have a tough task in hand. They would have to bridge the gap between the two platforms and ensure the plywood part of the united stage did not shake.
After walking on the “shaky” stage (made of plywood), Nitish ordered the people erecting it to tie it up properly. “By 2pm tomorrow (Friday), this part of the stage should be perfectly OK,” he ordered, asking how many labourers were involved in setting up the stage.
Learning that 300 labourers were working together, Nitish said: “Do one thing. Once the work is complete, call all the labourers to this (plywood) part of the stage and asked them to jump. If nothing happens to the stage, I shall be convinced. Give me the report by 3pm. Else, I shall visit the ground again.”
Spotting the gap between the concrete and the plywood platforms, he said: “Why there is a gap between the two stages? Ministers and MLAs will come over here. If anyone’s leg gets stuck in the gap, he/she will be injured. I want these two parts attached properly. There should not be any confusion.”
After a cursory glance at the map of the stage with the sitting arrangements, Nitish walked up to the media circle and expressed his concern over the barricade there.
He said: “Chairs will be put up at only two places — on the stage and in the media circle. If the crowd manages to break this barricade, they can throw chairs in the air. If such a situation arises, the journalists can describe it in their own ways. So, Sant Lalji (the man responsible for erecting the barricades), I want this part to be barricaded with iron bars so that the crowd cannot breach it.”
After instructing the officers accompanying him to the Maidan to deploy sufficient security personnel on the ground to control the crowd, Nitish hailed the man responsible for the sound system. “I want the people standing in the last row to hear my voice. There should be proper lighting arrangements as well,” Nitish said.
The audio system manager said: “Sir, don’t worry. Even people standing outside the Gandhi Maidan will be able to hear you. Proper lighting arrangements would also be made.”
On the number of people Nitish expected at rally, he said: “I do not want to talk about the numbers but people will come from far-off places.”