Sewa Yatra scheduled for November this year
While political punters continue to speculate on the extent of Nitish Kumar's support for L. K. Advani's ‘rath yatra' against corruption, the Bihar Chief minister plans to embark on a similar campaign of his own soon.
This November will see Mr. Kumar camping across the districts in Bihar as part of his Sewa Yatra - his first such “dialogue with the people” after coming to power in the State for a second time.
According to sources, Mr. Kumar is expected to take stock on corruption in the State, while gauging the progress of the Right to Services Act which was implemented in the State in August this year.
Mr. Kumar has undertaken four such tours after his win in 2005, with the last one christened Vishwas Yatra, undertaken just before the 2010 Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal has responded by flaying Mr. Kumar's yatra, with senior RJD leader Ram Kripal Yadav dubbing it a “massive diversion to distract public attention from pressing issues plaguing the State”.
Mr. Yadav accused Mr. Kumar of double standards during Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's three-day Sadbhavna fast and criticized JD (U) president Sharad Yadav's support for Mr. Advani's campaign.
In the event that Mr. Advani's yatra should commence from Bihar, Mr. Yadav remarked that it was strange that two such anti-corruption rallies (Mr. Advani's and Mr. Kumar's) would take place in the State at around the same time.
Mr. Advani's yatra, aided and abetted by the JD (U), would sow the seed of communal tension and bring back bitter memories of his 1990 Ram Janmabhoomi campaign, he warned.
At that time, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad had been instrumental in halting Mr. Advani's campaign in Bihar's Samastipur district and arresting the BJP leader.