IN AN extension of JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav’s claim for a “grand alliance” for UP polls, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will address a gathering of backward castes and Dalits on February 2 at a social event in Ghazipur district, which is close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.
The event, named Latia Mahotsav and which the organisers expect will be attended by “at least 50,000 people”, is celebrated annually by a social organisation, Samrat Ashok Club, to mark the birth anniversary of Bihar’s former deputy chief minister Babu Jagdev Prasad Kushwaha.
Nitish had previously announced to take his success in Bihar Assembly polls to UP, and said that his first public meeting will be held in Varanasi with Hardik Patel, who leads Akhil Bharatiya Patel Navnirman Sena.
“A gathering of nearly 50,000 is expected in Zamania. If it is successful, public meetings of Nitish Kumar will be organised in Varanasi, Allahabad, Ballia, Deoria, Kanpur and some districts of Bundelkhand very soon,” JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi said. Tyagi admitted that the Latia Mahotsav is a social event but Nitish’s presence will make it “politically significant’ with leaders of both SP and BSP “keeping a close watch”.