NEW DELHI: The politics in caste-ridden Bihar took a curious turn, with all the parties hitting out at each other over what are turning to be the country’s most protected mango trees.
After Bihar CM Nitish Kumar ‘ordered’ 24 armed guards to protect 100 fruit trees at the official bungalow of the chief minister now occupied by the former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, both friends-turned-foes accused each other of pettiness. The BJP which will make an ambitious attempt during the November assembly polls was too happy to rub it in.
"Nitish Kumar is not worried about awam (masses), but is anxious for the aam (mangoes). He is shedding weight because of this,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said in Delhi.
While current case of “forbidden mangoes” may have given the BJP a handle to beat Nitish Kumar, the party is hoping that factors like deteriorating law and order situation in state; return of Indians workers from Yemen, Syria will help the saffron party get a lead over the Nitish-Lalu combine.
The caste consolidation is likely in wake of JDU-RJD-Congress alliance, the BJP is working its way through the cracks between these partners.
As speculation of Lalu Yadav also trying to open channels of discussions with the BJP, the saffron party denied it saying their mutual animosity goes a long way. “Both Nitish and Lalu are trying to build pressure on each other so that they get more seats during the elections. Thats why they were trying to create such impressions,” Hussain added.
As JDU senior leader Sharad Yadav's claimed that JD(U), RJD and Congress will together contest assembly polls slated later this year, Hussain remarked "with this Lohia's opposition to Congress has ended".
While, political activity has been picking up in Bihar, the BJP found in “mangoes” a perfect issue to cast its stone.
"It is very unfortunate and a very cheap step taken by the government. Nitish Kumar is biased and is taking politics to a new low. In doing so, he is making a mockery of Bihar and is not just causing damage to himself but insulting Biharis, who are known for their hard work," Hussain said at press conference held in Delhi on the issue.