Why Mahagathbandhan Scored A Self-Goal In Bihar
The Rashtriya Janta Dal led ‘BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao’ grand rally of ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in Patna came after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar untied the alliance with Mahagathbandhan and clubbed with his old ally, National Democratic Alliance. Although the turnout at Gandhi Maidan on last Sunday might have boosted up the moral of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ and Lalu clan, they seem to pick a wrong turn at a very wrong time. Lalu Yadav organized the mega show at a time when 514 deaths have been recorded due to flood, close to 50 lakhs have been stranded and as many as 1.71 crores people have been affected in 19 districts of Bihar. 187 blocks and 2,371 panchayats are hit. In the last 24 days 42 deaths have been recorded.
In a fresh blow to the RJD, the Income Tax Department on Friday issued a notice regarding the expenses of the mega show.
Barely 6 hours away from the rally spot, Araria recorded hundred deaths due to flood, followed by a tragic bridge collapse washing away three lives of man, woman and girl. The state administration and NDRF have been deployed in the rescue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did an aerial survey of the four flood hit districts, accompanied by CM Nitish Kumar, sanctioning a package of 500 crores. But the former CM of Bihar Lalu Yadav and most of the opposition political heavyweight choose to focus on their grand gala instead of standing with the nation in the fury of flood.
More than 17 parties attended the rally. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Samajvaadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Gulam Nabi Azad (Congress), NCP, CPI, RLD, JMM, JVM, DMK, Kerala Congress, RSP, AIUDF, NC, and JD(S) shared the dais with Lalu Yadav. Defying the guidelines of the party, JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav participated in the rally. BSP chief Mayawati and NCP President Sharad Pavar were not present. 6 former CMs attended the rally at Gandhi Maidan, Patna. This list includes Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi, Akhilesh Yadav, Babulal Marandi, Hemant Soren and Gulam Nabi Azad.
Taking a jibe on the anti-BJP rally, Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said it “unnecessary”. “The rally could have happened even two months later. Was it really necessary to conduct it now, when the people if Bihar are suffering? Lalu Yadav should have used the money he spent on this to help the people of his state,” said the Union minister.
Mamta’s state West Bengal has also been struggling due to flood waters in six districts and communal riots in Bashirhat. Flood conditions in the six districts of northwest Bengal have been severely affected. Of the 55 deaths in, 48 died of drowning, four died of snake bite and three succumbed to wall collapse. Water has receded from the most areas of Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Uttar Dinajpur and dakshin Dinajpur, while some areas in Malda are still inundated. But the situation in Bihar is the worst. Over 55 lakh people have been hit by the floods in all the six districts.
On Friday, Bihar Water Resources Minister Lalan Singh in a bizarre statement that rats had damaged the river embankments, which caused floods. “Rats are the main reason behind the seepage of Kamla Balan River. Villagers tend to store their grains on the banks thus attracting the rodents. They then carve out holes in the embankments this weakening the base,” said the Minister. The theory of rats is not new in Bihar. Few months ago Bihar police alleged the rats to drink 9 lakhs liters of liquor kept in the store of police station.
Tejaswi Yadav and Misa Bharti have already been under radar of CBI and ED, for the charges on Benami property and disproportionate assets; cornerstone of Nitish divorce to RJD. These dynasts might have to face some serious implications for the serious charges of corruption. Being young politicians, they should have visited the marooned areas of Bihar which are hit by floods.
After being convicted in the fodder scam, Lalu’s popularity in Bihar doesn’t seem to be fading away as the photographs of the rally started flooding the internet. Lalu uploaded one picture of the rally on his Twitter handle which became a laughing stock for his party. He boosted upon a photoshoped image of the rally showing more than the actual size of the crowd at Gandhi Maidan.
Amid all such political show off and drama, the state was bleeding under the dearth of basic amenities of roti, kapda and makaan after the flood affected the livelihood of millions of people in Bihar. But demonstration of power through a political rally as mega show overtook adversity of flood in Bihar. And the credit goes to Mahagathbandhan, which after facing debacle in Bihar, fell abruptly again hitting a ‘self goal’ in the inappropriate timing of grand gala at Gandhi Maidan. Like Bihar seems to be destined to see the waters on their doorsteps every monsoon, politicians are busy in managing their vote banks. The opposition parties, mainly the Mahagathbandhan pact, are like empty vessels which sound much and act less. The grand ally will be suffering after Nitish’s sudden exit.