| Nitish Kumar at the Sankalp Yatra in Bhagwanpur on Friday. Telegraph picture |
Nitish Kumar on Friday warned the electorate against all his rivals — the BJP, RJD and the Congress — despite thin attendance in his Sankalp Yatra meetings at Bhagwanpur and Barharia in north Bihar’s Siwan district.
Playing a preacher, he imparted lessons on good governance at his meetings attended barely by 2,500 to 3,000 people at the two places. “There is no alternative to good governance. Ensure that you do not relapse to the dark era again,” he told his listeners.
Attacking his archrival Lalu Prasad without naming him, Nitish asked the crowd: “Will you like to return to the reign of anarchy again?” Replying to his own question, Nitish said: “You must strengthen the JD(U) in the Lok Sabha to ensure that the state does not slip to the reign of anarchy and keeps on prospering.”
Nitish then shifted focus on his other rivals — the Congress and the BJP. “The two parties (Congress and BJP) connived to deny special category status to Bihar. The BJP supported the Congress-led UPA government in according special status to Seemandhra within 24 hours,” he said.
“We have no objection at Seemandhra getting the status. But why Bihar, struggling for the same for years, was denied of the same?” he asked.
Ridiculing the claim of Narendra Modi at his Muzaffarpur rally that he would ensure the development of Bihar, Nitish said: “No alien force can prosper Bihar. It can progress through the efforts of Biharis only, including you and I.”
Without naming Modi and Lalu, he described them as “rumour mongers” and asked the electorate to stay alert to what he described as “bluff masters’” propaganda.
Despite talking about governance and rule of law, sources in the JD(U) indicated that the party might field Manoranjan Singh alias Dhumal, allegedly involved in several crimes, on the Maharajganj seat to challenge the RJD’s Prabhunath Singh, who had won the seat in a by-election last year.
“The people of Maharajganj will get the candidate of their choice,” said Nitish at his meeting at Barharia in Maharajganj Lok Sabha constituency. But he must have been anxious to see a thin attendance, largely unresponsive to him.
Singh was present on the dais among others, including water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary and education minister P.K. Shahi.