PATNA: Sworn enemies till they arranged an alliance a few months ago, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav will together address a rally in Patna on the 30th of this month. The pairing would normally guarantee centre space in the political landscape.
Blockbuster Sunday In Bihar. PM Rally Vs Lalu-Nitish Appearance
But 225 km away in Bhagalpur, the Prime Minister will be addressing a public meeting too, his fourth in the state since his party, the BJP, activated election mode.
Mr. Kumar who was 63, hopes to return as chief minister for a third consecutive term. His party has teamed with Lalu Yadav and the Congress, a league that has not been utterly harmonious. But any differences are trumped by the awareness that a combined effort is necessary to block the PM and his high-octane campaign from delivering the state to the BJP. The election starts in September.
Last year’s national election, the BJP and its allies won all but nine seats in Bihar, telegraphing with brute force the miscalculation by Mr. Kumar in ending his long-standing alliance with the BJP over its decision to make Mr. Modi its presumptive prime minister.
Mr. Kumar has recently pledged that nail clippings and hair will be sent by 50 lakh people as DNA samples from Bihar to the PM. The collection drive was launched after the PM said Mr. Kumar’s DNA leans him into betrayal and deceit. The chief minister has extrapolated the slur to proclaim it applies to all the people from Bihar and has demanded an apology.
Bhagalpur, where the PM will address people on 30th, was ravaged by communal riots in 1989. More than a thousand people were killed over a month, most of them Muslims. The violence is back as an emotive political issue after the legislature was presented with a report that examines the riots. The police and the Congress government have been severely indicted in the document.