Former chief minister Nitish Kumar receives a memento from Sewa volunteers at the workshop on Friday. (PTI)
Patna, Aug. 1: A reflective Nitish Kumar today stepped out of his self-imposed exile after quitting as chief minister and opened his heart out, saying those who did nothing earned laurels while those who did a lot (for the state) were shown the door by the people.
“Itna kiya ki logon ko kuch yaad hi nahi raha… jinhone kuch nahi kiya unhen pratishtha mili aur jo kiya use desh nikala… Phir bhi kaam karna chahiye (People forgot the person who did so much for them… they showered laurels on someone who did nothing and showed the door to the man who worked… But still, one has to continue serving the people),” Nitish said, in an oblique reference to Narendra Modi who swept the elections and reduced the JDU tally to single digit.
Nitish was speaking at a function organised on the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) premises to release a report of the Special Task Force on Women in the Informal Economy in Bihar.
The report, prepared by Sewa Bharat, says that 1.3 crore women are working in the informal economy of the state, which involves animal husbandry, agriculture-related work, bidi-making, tailoring, household work and a wide variety of household industries.
It was Nitish’s first public engagement since May 17, when he stepped down as chief minister following the poll debacle.
The loss would have hurt more given the fact that Nitish severed ties with the BJP for projecting Modi as its candidate for Prime Minister.
The hurt came out today in the form of words.
“I took several measures and initiatives as chief minister on a large number of suggestions and recommendations made in the report….I had taken policy measures to lay emphasis on female literacy, 50 per cent quota for women in panchayati raj institutions, urban local bodies and self-help groups. These are the steps which would prove to be a silent social revolution. People cannot imagine its impact on their lives…I have played my innings,” Nitish said.
Narrating why he introduced the bicycle scheme and uniforms for girl students etc, Nitish said it has been found that the total fertility rate has gone down with the increase in female literacy and empowering of women with the introduction of a quota in panchayati raj and urban local bodies. He also pointed to his stress on healthcare, saying Bihar was the first state where free medicines are being given in government hospitals since August 2006.
“The then Union health minister discussed the issue of giving free medicines. I informed him that we have already implemented it…. Similarly, even before film star Aamir Khan wrote to me on the subject, I had asked authorities to promote generic medicines,” he said.
It was then that Nitish broke out into verse to lament the rejection of his deeds.