At the house of former Bihar Chief Minister and socialist icon Karpoori Thakur at Pitaunjhia, his bust reminds one of his legacy. Such was Thakur’s popularity that after his death in 1988, the village was renamed Karpoori Gram.
Today, Nisha Thakur, a relative of the former CM, says it gives the family a sense of pride when current Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his predecessor Lalu Prasad, and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan use Thakur as a reference point of their politics. Though 31 years have passed since his death, no election could take place without mention of the legendary leader, she says.
On Friday, Deputy CM and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and Jamui MP and LJP leader Chirag Paswan passed through Karpoori Gram while campaigning for Prince Raj, the NDA candidate for the Samastipur Lok Sabha bypoll. Prince, from the LJP, is contesting the bypolls after the death of his father and sitting MP Ramchandra Paswan.
At the 7-km roadshow, Modi said BJP president Amit Shah had made it clear that the NDA would contest 2020 Assembly polls under Nitish Kumar, and that the NDA is united.
Congress’s Ashok Kumar, meanwhile, has been single-handedly campaigning for himself. A vehicle with posters of him along with senior Congress leaders would stop at some locations of town and play recorded messages, riling against the government for the economic downturn.
Shanker Sah, a local shopkeeper, said, “Ashok Kumar could have done better with some support from his alliance partners. He is trying his best and can give a good fight to Prince, a rookie.”
Ramsunder Das, another local resident, however, differed. “Prince will carry on the legacy of his father Ramchandra Paswan. There is an NDA government in Bihar and at Centre, why should we try any other combination?” he said.
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