An Open Letter to Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar

Senior political journalist Nalin Verma writes: Your compulsion is understandable—you operate in alliance with the BJP which is hardly known for promoting professional efficiency and constitutionalism

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Nalin Verma
Nalin Verma
is journalist, author and teacher. He is also Patron of eNewsroom India. The senior journalist loves writing on the rural India's folklore and on Indian politics. He has co-authered Gopalganj to Raisina Road with Lalu Prasad Yadav and The Greatest Folk Tales of Bihar

Dear Nitish ji,

Big congratulations for taking the oath as the Chief Minister for the seventh time—it’s a rare feat that few leaders have achieved. And thank you for taking care of Chhath devotees at Patna Ganga ghats by sending medical teams to carry out the test for the Covid-19. You (Nitish Kumar) rightly deserve credit for checking the enormity of the Pandemic despite getting a thoroughly inefficient colleague, Mangal Pandey. Had you someone like you as your health minister to support you, you would have done better. Anyway, your compulsion is understandable—you operate in alliance with the BJP which is hardly known for promoting professional efficiency and constitutionalism.

I propose to give you certain suggestions through this letter. As an ordinary citizen, I feel it my responsibility to give you suggestions in the interest of the state and its people and also in your interest as our Chief Minister. Of course, it’s up to you to accept or ignore them. Here they are:

1: Put your two deputy chief ministers, Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi—the BJP has found worthy of substituting Sushil Kumar Modi—to focus on arranging 19 lakh jobs that their party has promised in its manifesto. Set the deadline, cut down on their leaves, and make them work for twenty four hours and seven days in a week to implement their promise. Since they are ministers, they will get decent offices with support staff to do the job and comfortable homes with good kitchens, toilets and living rooms to eat and sleep. Tell them specifically that the elections are over and now they are the part of the government of the people, for the people and by the people.

Why I am telling so because Tarkishore and Renu after taking oath did something that they are not supposed to do as ministers. Tarkishore fumbled in pronouncing the name of our Honourable Prime Minister and didn’t utter a single word on his priorities. Renu gave a long interview elaborating her association with the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)—an outfit banned thrice for its anti-national activities. Remind them specifically that you have talked about the “Sangh Mukta Bharat” and you haven’t withdrawn it.

Tell these deputy CMs to conduct themselves in the manner prescribed by the Constitution and focus on their basic job to serve the people. Review their work meticulously. Dismiss them if they fail to deliver within the deadline and ask the BJP to replace them with others who could work. You are yourself a workaholic and can do it.

2: Specifically ask Nityanand Rai, union minister of state for home, to help Bihar with forces and funds to modernise the police so that you are able to control the riots. Emboldened by the electoral success of the BJP, many RSS’s open and secretive outfits are on the prowl. You have already witnessed the situation these merchants of hate created in Munger on the day of the first phase of polling. Who knows better than you that Nityanand in conspiracy with his boss and home minister, Amit Shah and one Bhupendra Yadav propped up Chirag Paswan to damage your JDU? Tell Nityanand that elections are over and get on to the business. Tell him pointedly–he, Bhupendra Yadav and thousands of their likes can’t win the Yadavs from Lalu Prasad.

3: Still, if the BJP ministers fail to deliver, call Tejaswhi Prasad Yadav and offer him, “I will make you chief minister. My only pre-condition is you will have to provide 10 lakh jobs to Bihar youths as promised by you. I will withdraw my support to you if you fail to do it and will send Bihar to mid-term polls. I won’t wait for five years”.

4: Open channel with Lalu Prasad and the Left—be transparent and bold. After all we are a democracy which is supposed to have the rulers and the opponents united for the larger cause of the people. Avoid talking to Tejashwi too much because he is still young. Just remind him that you worked with his father and supported him in becoming the Leader of Opposition and also the Chief Minister in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when Tejaswhi was born. Lalu Prasad has candidly admitted your contributions in his memoir.

And despite your differences with Lalu Prasad, who knows your old and wily friend (Lalu) better than you? He will be pumped up when he learns that you could make his (Lalu’s) son the chief minister and can go to the extent of projecting you as the Prime Minister for 2024. The Left and Congress will support you. Believe me, I am not joking. The JDU-RJD-Left-Congress Mahagathbandhan will defeat the BJP in all 40 seats, smashing Narendra Modi’s dream to return as the Prime Minister for a third term in 2024. After all, you had named it “Mahagathbandhan”… You had fathered it. What’s the problem in returning to the home you had yourself built. You will be the hero again—the genuine Indians will celebrate your victory.

An ever innovative Lalu Prasad will forget describing you “Kursi Kumar and Paltu Ram” and will coin new phrases to put you above the greatest of the greats in world history. He will be out with his ‘lathi’ and his huge mass-following on the streets again, chanting boisterously, “Jab table baaj-e dhin-dhin tab de ooper se tin-tin”. The RSS leaders in the habit to operate in a shady and conspiratorial manner understand the meaning of “de ooper se tin-tin” well and fear Lalu Prasad more than anyone else– “Satham sathyam samacharet”.

The revival of Bihar’s pride lies in the re-union of Bada-Bhai and Chhota Bhai.

5: And let Sushil Modi—a genuinely efficient leader—be with you. I don’t mean Sushil should leave the BJP. You have already made him chairman of the Legislative Council’s disciplinary committee. Create the post of an advisor to help you control the anti-social elements that the RSS has unleashed, of late. Sushil knows the RSS in and out. At the same time, he has been a fighter and product of the JP movement like you and Lalu. He will enjoy working with you for the betterment of Bihar. Moreover, he is very friendly to Abdul Bari Siddiqui and other Muslim leaders. In agreement with Lalu or Left, get a prominent Muslim leader and give him powerful portfolio. Our brothers and sisters in this community– so dear to all us– are lying low because of the rise of the rabid Hindutva. Given your upbringing and very nature, you must be feeling pained for them.

And do most of these things before the process of Bengal elections begins. The RSS-BJP can indulge in more mischief against you after Bengal polls. Don’t give them time and leeway. Keep them in a tight leash.

Thanks and warm regards.

Yours truly,

Nalin Verma

Nalin Verma
Nalin Verma
is journalist, author and teacher. He is also Patron of eNewsroom India. The senior journalist loves writing on the rural India's folklore and on Indian politics. He has co-authered Gopalganj to Raisina Road with Lalu Prasad Yadav and The Greatest Folk Tales of Bihar

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