Unprecedented Heckling and Protests from The Audience at Election Rallies

Unprecedented Heckling and Protests from The Audience at Election Rallies

During the ongoing election, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and CM in waiting for Tejaswi Yadav had to face unprecedented heckling and protests from the audience at their election rallies.

While addressing a public meeting in Madhubani, which goes to polls in the third phase of Assembly elections on November 7, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar talked about the State’s development and the employment issue. During his narrative, he had to face the ire of a section of the audience.

According to Madhubani’s reports, a group of youth present at the rally got angry with Mr Kumar’s comments and started throwing onions and stones at him. This is probably the first time stones and onions were thrown at Bihar CM during an election campaign.

“Khub feko, khub feko, khube feko (keep throwing) … You can keep throwing stones at me. But I ask you to beware of such people who have been promising 10 Lakh jobs as they don’t know anything about governance. I can tell you that they have no knowledge about the ABC of governance and cannot do anything. I also ask you not to indulge in all these anti-social activities otherwise nobody will be able to save you,” Mr Kumar told the protestors and urged the security men not to pay attention to them.

Later, when his security personal tried to intervene and detain people involved in the attack, Bihar CM stopped them and said, “Let them do it. They are being misled by people who have done nothing for the State. I have already told you that I am working hard to create opportunities here to not go out to other states for work. They got the opportunity for 15 years, but they didn’t give any jobs”.

This is not the first time CM Nitish Kumar has faced ire and heckling from the audience at his rallies during the Bihar elections. Earlier, crowds at his poll rallies could be heard booing him and shouting slogans in support of the RJD, which led to the chief minister losing his cool at the audience.

At many places, a section of the crowd disrupted his speech, at which Mr Kumar lost his cool and scolded them for acting on behalf of his “political rivals” and telling them that nobody is bothered even if they don’t vote for him.

In one such incident, when the chief minister arrived in Chapra’s Parsa assembly constituency nearly a fortnight ago, some people present in the crowd started shouting the “Lalu-Tejashwi zindabad” slogan. Kumar got angry over this and scolded them while saying, “even for those you are doing all this, they will not come to save you”.

Resuming his speech, Mr. Kumar assured the people that no one will have to go outside Bihar “under compulsion” to look for jobs if he returns to power. His future government will create more employment opportunities in the State itself.

Lakhs of migrant workers have returned to their homes during Covid-19 pandemic. Many of them haven’t returned to their previous job places.

Training his guns at RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav who promised to provide 10 lakh government jobs, Mr. Kumar asked: “When they got the opportunity to serve the State for 15 years, they could provide just 95,000 jobs even when Jharkhand was also part of the State for 10 years (till 2000) while have given six lakh jobs to the people during our time.”

This is not the first instance when Mr. Kumar has had to face a hostile crowd at his rallies during the campaigning.

A slipper was thrown at Mr. Kumar by protestors while he was going towards his helicopter after completing a speech at an election meeting at Sakra in Muzaffarpur district on October 26, but it missed the target. Police had taken four persons into custody to create disturbances at the Chief Minister’s rally.

Nitish Kumar is not the only victim of the crowd’s rage. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav was attacked with slippers while he was campaigning for Congress candidate from Kutumba assembly seat in Bihar’s Aurangabad district.

A video clip of the incident shows the RJD leader sitting on the dais when two slippers are hurled. While the first one misses him, the second one lands on his lap. The incident took place as soon as he took his place on the stage amid slogans in his support by party workers. Tejashwi, the chief ministerial candidate of the opposition Grand Alliance, had come to seek Congress nominee Rajesh Ram of ally Congress candidate.

Ram is pitted against Hindustani Awam Morcha president Jitan Ram Majhi’s son Santosh Kumar Suman on the Kutumba reserved seat.

According to news agency PTI, sources said a physically challenged man sitting on a tricycle is believed to have thrown chappals at the RJD leader. People and the security personnel caught him and took him away from the public meeting, the sources said.

Tejashwi was seemingly unfazed by the incident as he didn’t even mention it in his speech. RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari condemned the incident and demanded proper security arrangements for readers addressing public meetings during the polls.

There are visuals in social media from Muzaffarpur, Chhapra, Sasaram and Begusarai, where people are raising slogans against Nitish Kumar’s rallies.

Is this all a part of dirty politics in Bihar’s assembly election, or its people’s rage against the present government? There are videos on social media that indicate well thought out lynching politics against Nitish Kumar in Bihar ahead of the polls. It is feared that there are some trained persons to instigate people for shouting slogans against him in his rallies.