New Delhi, March 17: Bihar is changing; and, that reflected on the streets of the national capital also.
Delhi today witnessed one of the most populous congregations but it passed off without reports of a single incident of vandalism seen with other such rallies in the past.
The teeming crowd proceeded through many sections of Lutyen’s Delhi — the VIP zone — demanding special rights for Bihar but was never crossed the limits to claim its right.
Emerging in hordes from the New Delhi railway station and official bungalows of the MPs, the crowd holding flags and banners moved in a disciplined manner towards Ramlila grounds without causing any serious trouble to Delhites.
Feeling alarmed the Delhi police had deployed their uniformed men in large numbers in and around the venue but were pleasantly surprised by the conduct of the people who descended here for the rally.
Sunday being a holiday also helped. “Lagta hai Bihar bilkul sudhar gaya (It seems Bihar has genuinely reformed),” said Gurdeep Singh, a constable to man the crowd at the intersection between the railway station and the Ramlila grounds.
JD(U) managers credited the conduct of the crowd to the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar.
“Nitishji has taught Bihar to wield the pen and not the lathi (stick) unlike his predecessor Lalu Prasad,” said JD(U) MLC Sanjay Singh.
Singh claimed to have personally arranged the travel of some 800 of his supporters and said all of them were directed not to resort to any act that could embarrass Nitish Kumar.
“Everything, from train reservation to food was arranged for the rallyists and they were asked not create any nuisance,” Singh said.
The arrangements were seen all around Ramlila grounds as the people who had come for the rally were supplied with neatly packed food packets and packaged drinking water.
At the grounds too, gates were erected for the crowd to be frisked and then let inside. The crowd went inside in a disciplined manner and remained in the earmarked enclosure.
Constant announcements from the dais urging the crowd to present themselves as “disciplined soldiers” of Bihar also went to a great extent in making the rally a peaceful one. “Please remain calm and assert your right in a peaceful manner. We have to show that Bihar has changed under Nitish Kumar’s leadership,” the announcement from the dais said.