Mixed response to BJP-sponsored bandh in Bihar

Mixed response to BJP-sponsored bandh in Bihar

Mixed response to BJP-sponsored bandh in Bihar

Life was today partially hit in Bihar during a bandh called by BJP to protest against JD(U) pulling out of NDA with workers of the two parties clashing in the state capital and train services being disrupted in several places.

While shops and markets remained closed, offices and banks were open, official sources said. Due to summer vacation, educational institutions are closed.

Vehicular traffic was thin in the state capital with only a few autorickshaws plying on the main streets.

BJP workers disrupted train traffic in several places. Skirmishes between BJP and JD(U) workers took place in Patna.

A report from Nalanda said that bandh supporters stopped trains at Biharsharif. Nalanda is home district of the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

The day-long Bihar bandh has been called by BJP in protest against JD(U) parting ways with it in the wake of the appointment of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as BJP's election campaign committee chief.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said his party has taken to the streets in Bihar as people were feeling "deeply humiliated and cheated" since they had given the mandate to JD(U)-BJP to govern.

"We were governing very well. And suddenly, only because of ego and arrogance, you sought to break this alliance. Therefore, the people are really feeling very deceived. And to articulate that concern, we have hit the streets today," he told reporters in Patna.

On 'Brand Modi' taking BJP through in the Lok Sabha polls, Prasad said, "Modi is a very popular leader because of his governance, because of his integrity, because of his leadership...Whether he will become the Prime Ministerial candidate or not is a question which has to be decided by the party's Parliamentary Board."

Taking on the Bihar Chief Minister, he said in 2003, Nitish Kumar had showered praised on Modi and maintained that he had material to serve the nation.

"What happened in ten years?," Prasad said and criticised Kumar for not extending the "due protocol" to the Gujarat Chief Minister when he came to Bihar in 2010.
The BJP leader accused Kumar of playing "politics of rank opportunism and convenience".

He said, "If Modi is one of the most popular leaders of India, it is Nitish Kumar who is having a problem on that score...It is basically pure and simple vote bank politics."

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh describing Kumar as secular and the Bihar CM thanking him for the remark, Prasad said, "I am very happy that Nitishji was so desperate to get a certificate from the Prime Minister about his secular credentials. Good luck to him!

"But he is known to have impeccable anti-Congress credentials. And if you are inching towards that for rank opportunism, I am sure the people of the country are watching," he said, adding that the people  would give a fitting response.