The Bihar Post

Politics in the time of drouth: How Nitish Kumar working overtime to project himself as the best PM face

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PATNA: The entire Bihar is currently reeling under severe heat wave, villagers are crying for a drop of potable water and a virtual drought-like situation prevails in the state. Added to this, fire incidents have assumed alarming proportions in the state as cooking has been banned between 9 AM and 6 PM by an order of the state government.

But, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar looks busier in projecting himself as the best and credible Prime Ministerial face in the country. The move has gained momentum shortly after he was elected the new president of the Janata Dal United (JD-U) last week.

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What he is using to cultivate his new image of being the most trustworthy politician who delivers what he commits is his latest announcement to impose total prohibition in the state. The government banned sale, supply and manufacture of liquor last month, barely three months after coming to power.

For women folks who had been protesting on the streets for long seeking liquor ban, this may seem like a “great victory” bur for Kumar it holds the potentials to change his political fortunes. To be more frank, it has come as a major political tool for Kumar to serve his political end given the fact that his Prime Ministerial ambitions no longer remain the secret.

Kumar sees in a greater opportunity to win the support of vast female community across the country and increase his chances of reaching closer to the PM throne. The way he has planned to hold rallies in neighbouring states over the liquor gives enough hits about his soaring ambition for a major political role.

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Kumar is set to launch his nation-wide campaign against liquor from Jharkhand on May 10. This will be followed by his rallies in Varanasi and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh on May 12 and May 15 respectively. Jharkhand is ruled by BJP while UP goes to polls early next year.

Observers say more than advocating for imposing liquor ban in the country, Kumar is trying to use it as a tool to extract maximum political mileage out of this and stake his claim for the PM post even before others joins the race.

Well LS elections are three years away but Kumar wants to settle the issue of PM candidate much ahead of time, and his move is slowly bearing fruits. The RJD led by Lalu Prasad has already supported his PM candidature while the latest entering into his fans’ list is Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Yadav who has batted for Kumar.

“As of today in India, if the Opposition has to come together and provide an alternative, he (Nitish Kumar) is the number one name,” the Economic Times has quoted NCP chief Pawar as saying.

Earlier the CPI leader D Raja had asked Kumar to take up the national responsibility.

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