PATNA: The state BJP on Friday took to tearing apart the Badhta Bihar’ slogan coined by the government to bring home the performance of CM Nitish Kumar, now that he has been accepted as the CM face of the ‘janata parivar’ and partners of its extended alliance Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Incidentally, even before Nitish had been formally accepted as the CM face of the janata parivar’ at the conclave held recently at the residence of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in Delhi, flex billboards had been erected at key points at Patna, carrying the slogan Aage Badhta Rahe Bihar, Phir Ek Baar Nitish Kumar’ and also his photograph.
The slogan appears to have caught the imagination of the passersby, but it seems to have touched the raw nerve of the state BJP, which as the party, for the last two years, has been claiming that the credit for the achievements of the NDA government in the state (2005-2013) under Nitish should also go to it.
The state BJP, however, has latched on to the performance of the Centre under PM Narendra Modi and would showcase him to seek votes during the September-October assembly elections in the state. The party, accordingly, took to tearing apart the slogan on Nitish on Friday.
Without referring to the slogan, leader of opposition in the state assembly Nand Kishore Yadav asked, “Kahan hai badhta Bihar? Kyon Nitish phir ek baar (Where is the Bihar that is marching ahead? Why once more for Nitish Kumar?)” Between 2000 and 2015, Nitish has been sworn in as state CM four times, but he served full term without any break only once (2005-10).
In tune with the BJP’s contention with Nitish, both former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi (SuMo) and Yadav on the day referred to several mega road and bridge projects, including conversion of national highways into four-lane or six-lane roads, which have remained incomplete for various reasons. Yadav said there was lack of acquisition of land, contractors refused to carry out work due to short supply of stone chips, and also for the allotment of work under public-private partnership mode. “Bihar is at a standstill,” he added.
Interestingly, SuMo, pointing to the slogan and the photograph of Nitish on the billboards, said it showed his ahankar (false or excessive pride),’ as he has not used photographs of other leaders of the ‘janata parivar’.
Mocking at the CM, SuMo said, “Nitish is not the leader of just the JD (U) and, therefore, he should not avoid using the pictures of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.”