Advertisement
Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021
Outlook.com
Jump Cut

A Liberator Versus A Turncoat

There are two eras in Bihar: one before Laloo and one after. He changed the state’s social structure.

A Liberator Versus A Turncoat
Photograph by PTI
A Liberator Versus A Turncoat
outlookindia.com
2020-10-29T09:19:35+05:30

There is palpable anger against Nitish Kumar. Even after 15 years in power, he still lacks confidence to seek votes on the basis of his work, preferring to talk instead about ‘jungle raj’ during Laloo Prasad’s 15-year reign. It is up to us (the Opposition) to generate confidence in people critical of Nitish to repose their trust in us. If they find no trustworthy alternative, they will go back to him. So, we have to look at the kind of candidates we are selecting and the kind of issues we are raising. Unemployment is a serious issue that is gaining momentum across the country, especially among the youth. They recently celebrated PM Narendra Modi’s birthday as ‘Unemployment Day’. Tejashwi Prasad Yadav has struck the right chord by raising this issue. There are basically two eras in Bihar: one before Laloo and one after. He changed Bihar’s social structure. Now every party has to talk about the ‘backwards’ and the ‘extremely backwards’. Even his opponents believe he liberated the und­erprivileged and gave voice to the voiceless. Laloo’s other big achievement was the arrest of BJP leader L.K. Advani while he was passing through Bihar on his Rath Yatra. It made Laloo a popular figure among Muslims.

In contrast, Nitish says he got roads built and electricity supplied to each household. Is he the only CM who has done it? Circumstances were different during Laloo’s reign, when backward states har­dly had any revenue to fuel growth. When I was an RJD minister and MLA, I got Rs 4 lakh only for road repairs in my constituency. The situation gradually changed after 1991 and now states have the constitutional right to get their share of revenue from the Centre as per the Finance Commission formula, which has enabled them to spend on development.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Nagaland Ambush: Clamour Grows For Revocation Of AFSPA As Death Toll Touches 15

Nagaland Ambush: Clamour Grows For Revocation Of AFSPA As Death Toll Touches 15

Nagaland civilian killings are likely to derail the peace process at a time when New Delhi was fast-tracking talks with several political groups in the insurgency-hit region.

Putin Sends Out A Strong Message By Coming For A In-Person Meeting With PM Modi

Putin Sends Out A Strong Message By Coming For A In-Person Meeting With PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi and Vladimir Putin have a clear vision of the India-Russia relations and are unlikely to be battered by ties with third countries (China-Russia or India-US).

How To Regain Ashes? KP Has Few Tips For Root’s England

How To Regain Ashes? KP Has Few Tips For Root’s England

England’s Test record in Australia is abysmal – nine defeats in the last 10 matches. The Three Lions last won the Ashes in 2011.

Article 370: Can Farooq Abdullah Save His Father Sheikh Abdullah's Political Legacy In J&K?

Article 370: Can Farooq Abdullah Save His Father Sheikh Abdullah's Political Legacy In J&K?

National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah paid tributes to his father Sheikh Abdullah on his birth anniversary in Srinagar.

Advertisement