Ganori Ram, an extremely backward caste Kahar working in an iron factory in Tamil Nadu, is back in his village Kalyan Bigha — also chief minister Nitish Kumar’s paternal village — after 14 months. Ganori earns Rs 350 per day. He left Bihar five years ago after failing to find work daily.
Sitting in front of Nitish Kumar’s paternal house — the walls of which are plastered with dung cakes — Ganori said though he did not know much about Bihar politics, he was not happy with Nitish Kumar for severing ties with BJP. Like most villagers, he said this would weaken vikas purush Nitish and give an opening to Lalu Prasad to make a comeback.
Ganori said though the most famous resident of the village had given it a good approach road, public healthcare centre, a double-storeyed high school and an ITI centre, employment remained a big concern. “Probably 100 people of this village are working in Tamil Nadu. As a daily wager, I was not earning more than Rs 200 a day here and that work was also not guaranteed every day,” said Ganori.
He said he would surely vote for “pride of Bihar” Nitish Kumar’s candidate. “we have been hearing about one Narendra Modi and also Lalu Prasad making an impact in this election. We would love to see Nitishji as Bihar CM for another 10 years,” said Ganori recalling with pride how people of Tamil Nadu praise Nitish Kumar’s work. “But it’s embarrassing to tell them why we had to leave our home for another state,” he added.
Caretaker of Nitish’s house for six decades, Sitaram, who had gone to attend CM’s rally at Harnaut is back in the village. When asked how “his” CM would do in this elections, Sitaram said: “I do not know what happened between the two friends (JD (U) and BJP). Nitishji is wise and would have snapped ties after giving a thought to it”.
Walking with a stick, Sitaram showed the inside of the house and the room in which a trunk holds a tiffin box used by Nitish during his school days. “He comes three times to pay homage to his late father, mother and wife, he comes inside the house, peeps into a well in the courtyard. His childhood memories are here and he has chosen not to change a thing about his ancestral home,” said Sitaram and added with pride that Nitishji was on a mission to build Bihar.
Sitaram’s granddaughter Goldie, a class seven student in the village school, said she was getting school uniform and scholarship on time. Asked if her friends knew she stayed in the CM’s house, she nodded.
Megha Ram, a relative of Sitaram, said: “Nitish Kumar must not worry. Pachpaniya (EBC) will vote for him. We dread Laluraj. Nitish is the only Vikas Purush Bihar has and we will pray he remains so,” said Ganori.