CM Nitish On Hooch Tragedy

If You Consume Liquor, You’ll Die: CM Nitish On Hooch Tragedy

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday told media persons waiting for his reaction on the 39 deaths so far in the Chhapra hooch tragedy that if “someone consumes spurious liquor, they will die” as he came under heavy pressure on his alleged failed excise policy.

Defending the liquor ban in Bihar, he said that the state’s prohibition policy has benefitted several people and a large number of people have given up drinking alcohol due to his measures.

“The liquor ban has benefitted several people. A large number of people have given up alcohol…This is good. Several people have happily accepted this. But there are some troublemakers. I have told officers to identify the actual troublemakers and nab them,” Kumar told the media in Patna.

“I have told officers that they shouldn’t capture the poor. People manufacturing liquor & carrying on liquor trade should be caught,” Kumar said.

The chief minister also said: “I am ready to give Rs 1 lakh each to people to start their own work. We’ll raise the amount if needed, but nobody should get involved in the liquor business.”

“Last time, when people died due to spurious liquor, someone said they should be compensated. If someone consumes spurious liquor, they’ll die – an example is before us. This should be condoled, those places should be visited and people should be explained about the fallout of their action,” Nitish Kumar said.

After the first death late Tuesday in a Chhapra hospital, the toll reached 39 on Thursday.

In its wake, Masrakh Station House Officer (SHO) Ritesh Mishra and Constable Vikesh Tiwari were suspended on the recommendation of Marhaura Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Yogendra Kumar.

Bihar Excise Minister Sunil Kumar on Wednesday vowed strict action against culprits responsible for deaths.

“Process of filling an FIR is underway. I have spoken over the phone with SP,” Sunil Kumar said.

The sale and consumption of alcohol were banned in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government in April 2016.

Hours after the first few deaths were reported from Chhapra, the opposition on Wednesday attacked the Bihar Chief Minister in the state assembly leading to Nitish Kumar losing his cool and screaming back at the BJP leaders.

The Janata Dal-United chief slammed the BJP for protesting the deaths as Leader of Opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha questioned the state’s liquor ban policy since 2016.

Nitish Kumar lost his temper in the House and screamed at the BJP MLAs ”Sharabi ho gaye ho tum…(you are drunk)”

Protesting against the incident, Bihar opposition lawmakers also staged a demonstration outside the state assembly later. (ANI)

Read More: https://lokmarg.com

Bihar Hooch Tragedy

Death Toll Mounts to 39 In Bihar Hooch Tragedy

The death toll in the Chhapra hooch tragedy, due to the consumption of spurious liquor, in Bihar’s Saran district has soared to 39.

In the wake of the Hooch tragedy in Chhapra, the Station House Officer (SHO) Ritesh Mishra and Constable Vikesh Tiwari were suspended with immediate effect on the recommendation of Marhaura Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Yogendra Kumar.

Bihar excise Minister Sunil Kumar on Wednesday “confirmed” six people have died after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in the Chhapra area of Bihar’s Saran district. Bihar minister “vowed’ that govt would take “strict action” against culprits responsible for deaths.

“Process of filling an FIR is underway. I have spoken over the phone with SP. He confirmed the death of six people so far,” Sunil Kumar had said after being asked about police taking any action in this case.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bihar Minister SK Mahaseth urged the people of the state to give up drinking alcohol.

While talking to the media persons Mahaseth said, “Best if you give up drinking. Poison and not liquor are coming here. If we build strength via sports, we might tolerate it but people will have to build that strength. Give it up! It’s prohibited & being wrongly pushed here,” said Mahaseth.

The sale and consumption of alcohol were banned in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government in April 2016.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar lost his cool in the state assembly when leaders of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked his government over several deaths due to spurious liquor in Saran district’s Chhapra area.

The Janata Dal-United chief slammed the BJP for protesting the deaths as Leader of Opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha questioned the state’s liquor ban policy since 2016.

Nitish Kumar lost his temper in the House and screamed at the BJP MLAs ”Sharabi ho gaye ho tum…(you are drunk)”

Protesting against the incident, Bihar opposition lawmakers also staged a demonstration outside the state assembly later.

The sale and consumption of alcohol were banned in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government in April 2016. (ANI)

Read More: https://lokmarg.com

‘He Is Delusional…Kishor On Nitish’s Comment

Hitting back at Nitish Kumar, political strategist Prashant Kishor said on Sunday that the Bihar chief minister has become “delusional” and “politically isolated” and thus speaks things other than what he actually means.

He also said that Kumar’s age is affecting him and it reflects in his “nervousness”.
Kishor was reacting to the chief minister’s comment that the political strategist, who has recently launched a state-wide ‘padayatra’ to bring ‘Jan Suraj’ in Bihar, was “working for the BJP” after he claimed that Kumar had asked him to join his Janata Dal (United) party.

“He (Kumar) said I am working on BJP’s agenda and asked him to merge with Congress. How is it even possible? If I were supporting BJP, why would I ask him to strengthen Congress? If the second claim is correct, the first one gets wrong,” Kishor told ANI.

“He (Kumar) has been affected by his age and has turned delusional. He has been politically isolated as he is surrounded by people who he himself does not trust. And it is because of this nervousness he speaks other than what he means,” he added.

Of late, both Kishor and Kumar have shared allegations against each other.

On Saturday, the Bihar chief minister said Kishor, who has helped political parties win elections and influence people, is now making baseless claims. He added that a few years ago Kishor had advised him to merge his JD (U) with the Congress. On October 5, Kishor had said Kumar had invited him to his residence and offered him to join his party and lead it.

But Kishor has dropped enough hints that he aims to launch his own political party after the completion of his yatra. He has often said it was time for him “to go directly to the people.”

Kishor launched his ‘padayatra’ on October 2 from Bhitiharwa Gandhi Ashram. He has attacked all political parties that have ruled Bihar, saying the state has not changed since 1990. He said people here are bound to migrate to other states in search of employment.

Kishor has briefly served as the national president of the JD (U) but was later expelled from the party.

In an interview with ANI last month, the strategist had predicted that the current ruling alliance of seven parties (Mahagathbandhan) will not survive till the next assembly election.

In August, Nitish Kumar parted ways with the NDA and rejoined the RJD. (ANI)

Read More:https://lokmarg.com/

Bihar Youth Seeks Jobs

Jobs Promises Made in Poll Season Are Forgotten During Rule

Md Shamsh Tabrez, who has been in the teaching profession for the last ten years, says Bihar youth has hit the streets to remind the Govt of its employment promises

The employment rate in Bihar is very low. For years, we have been witnessing brain drain from the state. The brilliant minds from this state are migrating to other states and helping the host states build and flourish. However, in the whole process, Bihar has been losing in the race of development.

However, a lot has changed in the past few years. People are now expecting from the government to generate job opportunities both in the private and government sectors. We have recently seen people coming out on streets and vociferously demanding jobs.

However, the saddest part is that these job aspirants are being lathi-charged for asking what their right is. Last month, we saw how the Bihar Police lathi-charged and used water cannons on protesters in Patna, which included several teaching job aspirants.

A video of an official repeatedly assaulting a demonstrator holding the national flag while lying on the road surfaced as well, drawing condemnation from all sides of the political spectrum.

The new government has assured that there will be the next phase of vacancies soon in different departments of the state government. Since the Rashtriya Janata Dal has joined the newly formed coalition government, the job demand has risen again as people are reminding Tejashwi Yadav to fulfil his promise of providing 10 lakhs jobs.

ALSO READ: ‘Nitish Has Played His Last Card, JD(U) Will Soon Dissolve’

In the 2020 assembly elections in the state, Tejashwi Yadav from the RJD had promised to create 10 lakh jobs. This also worked to some extent for the RJD as the party emerged as the single-largest party in Bihar with 75 seats.

After the new alliance with the RJD, Nitish Kumar, on the 75th Independence Day, said that the new JD(U) and RJD alliance will soon work out a plan to create 10 lakh new jobs in the government sector. Another 10 lakh employment opportunities will be created in additional sectors.

Though we all are preparing for writing state exams, in my view, there is a very little chance of providing as many jobs as promised by Tejashwi Yadav and Nitish Kumar both. I think the announcements have been made in respect to the coming general elections of 2024.

Political parties are preparing hard for the general elections. We have seen in the past and will see many new announcements made, especially related to jobs. But it’s very difficult to accept that all promises will be fulfilled when the election is over. We need to take the job promises of the government with a pinch of salt.

As told to Md Tausif Alam

Nitish Kumar

Every Angle Should Be Probed: Nitish on Begusarai Firing

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that a probe should examine all angles in the firing incidents that took place in Begusarai yesterday claiming the life of one person while leaving nine injured.

“We have called a meeting and held a detailed discussion on this incident. A probe should be done from every angle into this incident. A few days ago, I conducted a meeting to review law and order in the state,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Kumar said that he had instructed the officers to remain vigilant.

One person died while nine others sustained injuries in separate firing incidents at different locations on Tuesday in Bihar’s Begusarai. Following the incidents, Bihar Police on Wednesday suspended seven police officials.

Addressing media persons, Additional Director General of Police (HQ) Jitendra Singh Gangwar said, “Prima facie, our patrolling party was on the streets. Still, they either could not stop the criminals or could not do the checking. In this connection, seven police officials have been suspended with immediate effect.”

Asked about the attackers, ADG Gangwar said CCTV footage captured the assailants and police are verifying their identities. He said some people have been detained and police are questioning them.

Meanwhile, hitting out at the state government, former Union minister and BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, “I was trying to set up industries in Begusarai but now bullets are being fired like terrorists in Punjab and Kashmir. So many people have been shot and injured. This is a big incident in Bihar. The morale of criminals is increasing in Bihar and people will not forgive those who boost the morale of criminals.”

The BJP leader said these kinds of incidents will defame the image of the state and asked the Bihar government which direction the state has been going.

“What will be the image of Bihar in the country? Nitish Kumar needs to check this situation,” Hussain said.

Jeetu Paswan, one of the injured told ANI that he was selling ice cream at Malhipur Chowk when the assailants came and shot at him. He said another person who was near him was also shot at.

As per police, two bike-borne assailants are behind the firing incidents in which several people are reported to be injured.

“Two persons with bullet injuries have been brought to the hospital,” said the doctor in the Government hospital in Teghra. Further investigation into the matter is underway. (ANI)

Begusarai Firing: Morale Of Criminals Increasing In Bihar, Says Shahnawaz

After two bike-borne miscreants shot at nine people, killing one in Bihar’s Begusarai, former Union minister and BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain slammed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s government for the law and order situation in the state.

On Tuesday night, the BJP leader visited the injured at Sadar Hospital.
Shahnawaz Hussain strongly attacked the Bihar government and said, “I was trying to set up industries in Begusarai but now bullets are being fired like terrorists in Punjab and Kashmir. So many people have been shot and injured. This is a big incident in Bihar. The morale of criminals is increasing in Bihar and people will not forgive those who boost the morale of criminals.”

The BJP leader said these kinds of incidents will defame the image of the state and asked the Bihar government which direction the state has been going.

“What will be the image of Bihar in the country? Nitish Kumar needs to check this situation,” Hussain said.

Jeetu Paswan, one of the injured told ANI that he was selling ice cream at Malhipur Chowk when the assailants came and shot at him. He said another person who was near him was also shot at.

He said a tanker driver who was going to buy tea near Godhna village was also shot by bike-borne assailants.

Meanwhile, Bihar Police on Wednesday suspended seven police officials a day after a person was killed and nine others sustained injuries in separate firing incidents in Begusarai district.

Addressing media persons, Additional Director General of Police (HQ) Jitendra Singh Gangwar said, “Prima facie, our patrolling party was on the streets. Still, they either could not stop the criminals or could not do the checking. In this connection, seven police officials have been suspended with immediate effect.”

Asked about the attackers, ADG Gangwar said CCTV footage captured the assailants and police are verifying their identities. He said some people have been detained and police are questioning them.

“Checking was done all through the night. Neighbouring districts were alerted. A separate investigation team has collected CCTV footage. The criminals can be seen on them. We are verifying. A few people have been detained and they are being questioned,” added the officials.

One person died while nine others sustained injuries in separate firing incidents at different locations on Tuesday in Bihar’s Begusarai, according to a police official.

Superintendent of Police, Yogendra Kumar said that the police are checking the CCTV footage to ascertain the perpetrators.

As per police, two bike-borne assailants are behind the firing incidents in which several people are reported to be injured.

“Two persons with bullet injuries have been brought to the hospital,” said the doctor in the Government hospital in Teghra. Further investigation into the matter is underway. (ANI)

.

Will Be Successful If All Oppstn Parties Unite: Tejashwi

After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s meeting with Opposition leaders, his deputy and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Friday said that if all the Opposition parties unite then they will be successful in defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 general elections.

“It is a good thing. It has been clearly said that if all of us are united, we will be successful (in defeating BJP)” Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav told media persons here when asked about CM Nitish Kumar’s recent meetings with Opposition leaders in Delhi.
Pertinent to mention, Nitish Kumar recently was on a visit to Delhi. During his Delhi visit, the Bihar CM met leaders of several parties in the country.

Nitish Kumar met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday and then met Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

He also met Indian National Lok Dal leader Om Prakash Chautala. He also met with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Sharad Yadav in Delhi, who said, “It is necessary that the opposition parties come together. There is no better face (of Opposition) than Nitish Kumar.”

This came days after Nitish Kumar broke the alliance with the BJP in August and formed the government with RJD in Bihar.

Earlier Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had also visited Bihar and met Nitish Kumar, and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav as part of efforts towards forging opposition unity.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Trinamool Congress (TMC) meeting on Thursday announced that Nitish Kumar, Hemant Soren, and herself with other leaders will come together for the 2024 general election.

“Politics is not an easy thing to do, I remember working hard and fighting for winning the elections. People who were not present there will not understand how difficult it was”, said Banerjee. (ANI)

Old Days Of Lalu’s Regime Are Back: Sushil Modi

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Modi on Friday took a dig at the Nitish Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan government and stated that the “old days of Lalu Yadav’s regime are back” over the recent murders in Patna.

While addressing the media persons in Patna, Bihar, Modi said, “Recently, incidents of murder took place in Patna. It seems like the old days of Lalu Yadav’s regime are back, but he’s (Bihar CM) silent & went to Delhi. After returning, he met Lalu Yadav, the symbol of crime and corruption. They can’t handle law and order.”
Earlier on Wednesday, two youths were shot dead by unidentified persons in Bihar’s capital.

While on August 17, a vegetable vendor’s daughter was shot in the Indrapuri locality of the Sipara area of Beur PS in Patna.

In less than two years’ time, Nitish Kumar flipped his choices and in a surprise move went on to stitch an alliance with RJD and Congress to form a ‘Grand Alliance’ government in Bihar. (ANI)

BJP Wants To Eat Up All Regional Parties, Including Allies

Tanveer Khurshid, a seasoned educator in Bihar, spells out the reasons behind Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to jump the NDA ship

Nitish Kumar is the biggest politician in this country, bigger than Narendra Modi. This sounds exaggerated or seems like a diehard fan talking. Far from it. I am no fan of Mr. Kumar. I am making this statement based on facts.

There was this joke about the late politician from a regional party from Bihar: No matter who forms the government, he will become the minister. The same thing can be said about Mr. Kumar. No matter who has the majority seats, Nitish ji will remain the chief minister of Bihar. He has been there since 2005 – 17 long years.

It’s not that his party is garnering so many seats that nobody has been able to outstrip him. Since 2015, his party has been continuously going downhill. In 2015 assembly elections, his party was on second rung with 71 seats, preceded by RJD with 80 seats. Fast forward five years, in 2020, JDU tally slipped to 45.

Despite failing to get the mandate of the people, Nitish ji is still the chief minister of Bihar. There’s no other leader in the country who can pull out a similar feat. Nobody knows what card he has up in his sleeve.

Nevertheless, his image is completely tarnished in the eyes of people. Everybody knows now that he has no principles. To save his chair, he can easily switch sides. His ideology flip-flops are based on his personal agenda. If yesterday, he called himself the biggest secular leader, today he might do an alliance with the BJP. Tomorrow, he can shake hands with the RJD or other secular parties. This is the problem. It’s become very difficult to trust him as a leader.

ALSO READ: ‘Nitish Has Played His Last Card, JDU Will Soon Collapse’

I am not sure as a voter whether I would vote for him even though he is in alliance with the party which I support. Now that his party has broken the alliance with the BJP, there will be some repercussions for this misadventure. The top leadership of the BJP will not let it go so easily. We all know that the ED, the CBI and other central bodies are going to land up in Bihar soon. There will be raids on different leaders of the JD(U) and the RJD alike. I think Nitish Kumar must have prepared himself and his party leaders for this, which is going to happen sooner or later.

In all this the JD(U) has suffered a major setback. There’s a dearth of leadership in the party. There’s no leader who can lead the party after him. After the death of Ram Vilas Paswan, his party completely disintegrated. It couldn’t win even a single seat in the assembly election. If this happens to the JD(U), it will be very bad for the state.

The BJP wants to devour all the regional parties which, people say, was the reason for the break-up between the JD(U) and the BJP. If this is the case, Nitish Kumar did the right thing. For a healthy democratic set up, it’s very important for regional parties to flourish.

As told to Md Tausif Alam

Patna Paradigm: Why Allies Are Jumping The BJP Ship

The same old, boring Paltu Ram and Aya Ram-Gaya Ram jokes are back, and predictably so, with Nitish Kumar as the chief protagonist in the current public spectacle being played out in Bihar, one of the key states in the Hindi heartland. Along with UP, as is the irony, it shapes the future of the high power stakes at the Centre in Delhi, even while states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Telengana, Rajasthan, Punjab, even Maharashtra and Delhi, have consistently blocked the roller-coaster ride of the BJP in recent years.

In the shifting quagmire of Indian politics, with the secular society and its jobless economy in dire straits, with ordinary people and the poor struggling to make two ends meet, while the corporate multi-billionaires seem to be flourishing with obscenely unprecedented profits, the paradigm shift in Patna, obviously, stretches beyond the clichéd laws of morality and immorality. Clearly, it is democracy at stake in contemporary India, and, Patna, like Bengal earlier, and Punjab recently, might just show the way. Indeed, will it?

There are transparent pointers of optimism which emerges from this fast-unfolding scenario even as a stunned BJP and its well-oiled party machine with deep pockets, seems, at once, flummoxed and dazed. For one, it proves that even if everything is in your favour, institutions, money, muscle, agencies, much of mainstream media – you might still lose the game; that you just might not get away with over-confidence or arrogance, while the ground is shifting under your feet.

Indeed, despite its Congress-mukt rhetoric, which is often interpreted as ‘opposition-mukt’ discourse – surely, not a good sign in a pluralist democracy – the BJP might be feeling suddenly lonely after a long, long time. Barring the faction led by Eknath Shinde, and with the defeated faction of the AIADMK floundering in the dark, it does not really have any strong political or electoral ally in the entire country! In the North-east, barring Assam, where loyalties are forever shifting as per the power game in Delhi, its role is minimalist in the coalition governments. Even in Jammu and Kashmir, despite the clampdown and the abrogation of Article 170, there seem to be little political gain – it stands virtually alone, even while there is a wave of restlessness stalking its supporters in Jammu.

In Bihar, it used an immature Chirag Paswan to cut into the votes of JD(U) in the last assembly polls, which was resented silently by Nitish Kumar, who was then hanging by a slender thread, with the dominant BJP as his scaffolding. Ask any old supporter of Ram Vilas Paswan in Hajipur/Vaishali, his erstwhile base, and they would unanimously say that Chirag made one mistake after another. He should have simply accepted the offer of Tejeshwi Yadav and made a ‘youth alliance’ — which he did not. Hence, his downfall, partly of his own making, and, as his late father’s supporters openly contend, has been mainly manufactured by the machinations of the BJP.

Meanwhile, apart from the other contentious issues like the caste census, upping the ante on Kashmir, poking into the fragile and effective alliance of the backwards and minorities which Nitish Kumar had stitched up with meticulous social engineering, among other issues, the BJP seemed to be playing the Eknath Shinde card in Patna as well, using a particular JD(U) leader. This is part of a pattern, and is reflective of all dominant parties which become kind of blind, dazzled by the sheer luminance of their power and their formidable electoral machinery. Even Congress or the CPM did not shy away from displaying such brazen violations of democracy during their heydays in Delhi and Kolkata. Now, they know so well, how ephemeral it all can be!

That is why, Tejeshwi Yadav is on the dot when he says: “You see the BJP’s old allies now, from Punjab to Maharashtra to Bihar. They tried to finish their allies at all these places. Now the BJP has no allies in the entire Hindi heartland. The BJP had been trying to subsume the JD(U) too. But, we are socialists. Nitish Kumar is our ancestor, and we alone should hold on to his legacy,” the RJD leader.

As for the question of Nitish Kumar being ‘socialist’, or following the ethical principles of socialism in his daily life or in his political conduct, as a follower of JP, Acharya Narendra Dev and Ram Manohar Lohia, the verdict is out there in the open — in his slippery and opportunist past. For instance, in February 2002, during the tragic Godhra incident when Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire by unknown miscreants, he happened to be the Union Railway Minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government in Delhi. Either way, he did not move an inch.

Even while this gruesome incident and the death of passengers in the train was openly used in the organized genocide which followed in Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat, leading to mass murders, gang-rapes, burning and hacking of innocent people, especially and mostly Muslims, with the state government looking the other way, he chose to be largely mum.

And, most crucially, even as Laloo Yadav, like the Congress or the Left, never aligned with the BJP or RSS-backed organizations, he has had no such ideological qualms of the conscience. Like another alleged ‘socialist’, Ram Vilas Paswan, who also had the uncanny knack of sensing which way the wind was blowing, and, thereby, was almost always sitting cosy in cushy power positions in Delhi under various regimes, from that led by VP Singh to UPA and NDA, etc — ideology can go get damned.

After the dynamic shift in Bihar, whereby 60 per cent of the electoral arithmetic now seems to be pitched against the BJP, there is another new theory being built up by Nitish-loyalists yet again – that he is a potential PM candidate in 2024 leading a mythical opposition alliance. It is also being widely assumed that the current, restless coalition stitched up in Maharashtra by the BJP might eventually fall like a pack of cards, even as the original Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, and the NCP-Congress-Sena coalition, will continue to have the high moral ground, while not facing any anti-incumbency factor.

Combine this factor with the fact that the Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh governments led by the BJP have been formed by breaking the Congress, using the same time-tested tactics as in Maharashtra recently, and that in UP it is not all that strong as it seems so, especially with farmers in Western UP vehemently opposed to the BJP, 2024 might not be a dream-come-true for the ruling party.

Besides, the ED raids seemed to have galvanized a slumbering Congress party, still struggling to find the wood from the trees. Its recent, rather aggressive agitation in Delhi, facing lathis and jail, with Priyanka Gandhi breaking the barricades and being  pinned down forcibly by women cops, and its proposed Bharat Jodo campaign starting from Kanyakumari across the nation in commemoration of the Quit India movement against the British empire, seems to have inspired the party cadre.

The simmering unrest, angst and anger over back-breaking price rise, GST, Agnipath and mass unemployment, is a bitter reality which no PR-campaign or communal polarization can eliminate. Given the circumstances, with Mandal politics finding its roots yet again in Bihar as a winning coalition against Hindutva, the opposition has reasons to be upbeat.

The only catch, however, with Nitish is, that no one knows when he will sink the boat he is sailing, and jump on to another!As a chief minister he has done it umpteen times, comfortably aligning with Rightwing and communal forces. And, if he is indeed chosen as a PM candidate — highly unlikely as of now — who knows what brand of ‘socialism’ he would follow while at the helm?