NEW DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s is a past master of yatras. This time, his sewa yatras are aimed at a formidable foe: the Maoists. In Aurangabad, Naxals have put up posters in schools, community centres and government buildings, warning people not to attend Nitish’s durbar. The posters carried threats to eliminate Kumar. In retaliation, he undertook a yatra last week through Maoist-infested Amba and Kutubagarh, amidst tight security. He had undertaken a similar exercise in the Maoists’ den of Rohtas district a week ago.
Nitish, who had reached Patna from New Delhi on Thursday morning, learnt about the posters, and immediately took a helicopter to Aurangabad. He even offered prayers at a temple in Amba, besides doing his usual round of development sites.
Political observers in Patna feel the threat arose as a result of the arrest of Pramod Mishra, politburo member, CPI(ML), who is at present lodged in Aurangabad jail. He was nabbed from Dhanbad in Jharkhand.
The Bihar government has taken the Naxal threat seriously. The appearance of the posters in heart of Aurangabad town suggests a massive intelligence failure; and that too on the eve of the Chief Minister’s visit. “It shows how little prepared the state machinery is, to take on the Maoists,” says a Patna police officer who refused to be named.
Reports said that due to the threat level, alterations are being made in the CM’s public programmes. On December 26, Maoists had set fire to road rollers engaged in road construction at Parta village. The road was being repaired for one of Nitish’s Sewa Yatras.