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Gaya tiff over power symbol

Gaya, Dec. 26: Differences have reportedly cropped up among members of Vidyut Upbhokta Sangharsh Samiti, an umbrella organisation agitating against Gaya’s power famine, over their protest “symbol”.

While one group wishes to see the lantern as the symbol, the other is stuck on the candle. The group has plans of to protest on December 30 when Nitish Kumar would be in town, however, unless the members sort out their own problems first, the protest could go futile.

A sizeable section of the samiti, including members of Central Bihar Chamber of Commerce, is opposed to the lantern on the account of its political connotations — it is a RJD symbol. The anti-lantern activists want the agitation to remain apolitical. They believe the association with the lantern would “rob” the protest off its pro-people colour.

Before the candle versus lantern fight ensued, organisations, including the Central Bihar Chamber of Commerce, Bar Association, IMA and independent people had joined hands to register, protest and fight for the NDA promise of “uninterrupted supply”.

However, the protest still holds — stressed Lalji Prasad, a member of the group. “The Sangharsh Samiti is united over the issue of power and no politician or party would be allowed to sabotage the agitation or take credit for it. We are sure of this,” he added.

Perhaps a truce would be possible with the third view —floated by some activists favouring the dhibri or the small oil lamp, used extensively across the state as the protest symbol.

On their part, the district administration has apprised the government about the discontent and its apprehension that the issue might have a “violent manifestation” later.

Bihar State Electricity Board officials, including Magadh Area Board general manager Mohammad Yaqub, while talking to The Telegraph conceded that they were not in a “position to present any deadline” for the restoration of power supply.

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