Leaders of the Grand Alliance in Bihar chose the state’s first chief minister Sri Krishna Singh’s birth anniversary function in Patna on Sunday to band together against the NDA, where RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav slammed the BJP-JD(U) government by likening it to “Rakshas Raj” (reign of the devil).
The Grand Alliance leaders — from the Congress, the RJD and the HAM(S) — vowed to uproot the NDA governments at the Centre and in the state. They came down heavily on the two governments, alleging that both the dispensations failed on all fronts, especially in taming price rise, corruption and crime. The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee organised the function at S K Memorial hall.
RJD leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav slammed JD(U) chief and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, likening the state government to “Rakshas Raj” (reign of the devil). “These people (NDA leaders) used to talk about ‘Jungle Raj’ (during the 15 years of Lalu-Rabri rule in Bihar). But there is ‘Rakshas Raj’ in Bihar today. State-sponsored crime is on the rise. This is the double-engine government of crime and corruption,” Yadav said.
Taking a swipe at Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, who had termed Lalu Prasad’s younger son as “rumour-monger”, Tejashwi asked what has Bihar got from the Modi government in its four and a half years. “When will the special category status be accorded to Bihar? BJP has cheated the people of the state as it has no concern for them,” Tejashwi said, adding sarcastically that the BJP has more concern for Lalu Prasad’s family. People should be wary of “back-stabbers”, he said without naming anyone.
Former Bihar CM and HAM(S) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi demanded the Bharat Ratna for Sri Krishna Singh, the first chief minister of Bihar and powerful leader from the Bhumihar caste who occupied the post till his death in 1961. Manjhi also sought 15 per cent reservation for upper castes by amending the Constitution.
The party’s national general secretary and Bihar in-charge Shakti Sinh Gohil said, “We will fight together to uproot the NDA government and install Congress government at the Centre… We will come out with a blueprint for Bihar’s overall development and will fulfil our commitment”. Former Union minister and Bihar Congress Campaign Committee chairman Akhilesh Prasad Singh announced that the party would soon hold a mega rally at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna to “send out a message”.
Singh, a Rajya Sabha member, said it would be a “Parivartan rally” (rally for change), the date for which would be announced soon. Singh, who has been organising birth anniversaries of Sri Krishna Singh for the past 15 years, said the Nitish Kumar government, which would complete 15 years of rule in Bihar, has ditched the upper castes as it did nothing for them, and even forgot to implement the recommendations of ‘Sawarn Aayog’ (commission for upper castes). The Nitish Kumar government just used upper castes as its “vote bank”, he said.
Celebration of Shri Krishna Singh’s birth anniversary is seen as an attempt by the Congress to win back a section of the upper castes who have traditionally been its voters in the state but have gravitated towards the BJP recently. Bihar Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha, former governor Nikhil Kumar, former Union minister Shakeel Ahmad, senior party leaders Vijay Shankar Dubey and other senior leaders spoke at the function.