In poll-bound Bihar, former Union Finance and External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha on Saturday is likely to make an announcement on the formation of a political front against “Nitish Kumar’s failed governance”.
Mr. Sinha is scheduled to address mediapersons at a hotel in Patna later in the day.
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For a total of 243 Assembly seats, elections in Bihar are due in October-November later in the year.
“To discuss future course of Bihar politics and build a front against Nitish Kumar’s failed governance”, said Mr. Sinha’s invitation to journalists. The front also has the slogan “Is baar badle Bihar (Let’s change Bihar this time)”.
Sources close to Mr. Sinha told The Hindu that he agreed to come to Patna after holding several rounds of meetings with State leaders, former MPs, MLAs and other stake holders.
State leaders like former MP and socialist Devendra Yadav, former Bihar Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhury, ex-MP and Dalit leader Purnamasi Ram, former Lok Jashakti Party Satyanand Sharma and several others are said to be in regular touch with Mr. Sinha requesting him to come to Bihar ahead of the poll.
“The 15 years of Nitish Kumar government have been no different from the previous 15 years of RJD regime, except some cosmetic changes in the state…the State still reels under the highest rate of unemployment and grinding poverty…not even a single industry has come to Bihar in the last 15 years of Nitish Kumar’s regime…in such a situation, there is a clarion call in the State to have an alternative political set-up for the voters in the upcoming poll”, said one of those leaders.
Mr. Sinha, who was earlier BJP MP from Hazaribagh Lok Sabha constituency in neighbouring Jharkhand State, had later announced his retirement from active politics.
He has also spent a long time in Bihar for his education.
Meanwhile, ruling party JD(U), in an all-party meeting convened by Bihar Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) H.R. Srinivasa on Friday, advocated for a “single-phase” Assembly poll in the State.
“A single-phase election would ease the pressure on candidates in the fray”, said senior JD(U) leader and party MP from Munger Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh. Mr. Singh also suggested that the “use of digital platforms will enable leaders to maintain SOP (standard operation procedure) issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
However, the Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal opposed the concept of a “virtual rally”. “This is a conspiracy by the ruling alliance to keep leaders of Opposition parties cut-off from their voters…the Bihar poll is a fight between the rich and the poor”, said State RJD president Jagdanand Singh.