The Bihar Post

‘Nitish not a mass leader’: Why does JD-U overreact over Shahabuddin’s remark?

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PATNA: Mighty RJD politician Mohammad Shahabuddin remains in news whether inside the jail or outside.

On Saturday again, he kicked up storms in Bihar’s political circles by terming JD-U chief Nitish Kumar as a “chief minister by circumstances” and “not a mass leader”, triggering a war of words between the RJD and JD-U, both alliance partners in the ruling Grand Alliance government which Kumar heads.

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“Nitish Kumar is a popular leader of Bihar. He has been voted for this post by the people of the state. None should remain in doubt,” reacted senior JD-U leader Shyam Rajak.

JD-U’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Singh went even bitterer, “Alliance won last year’s assembly polls only by projecting Nitish Kumar as the CM face. Even Lalu Prasd knows his strength.”

However, chief minister Nitish Kumar refused to make comment. “I don’t attach much importance to such remarks. They are insignificant for me,” quipped Kumar who was in Jharkhand today n connection with a party programme.

Observers say the ‘bitter verbal duels” between the key alliance partners have the potential to weaken the ruling alliance government comprising the RJD, JD-U and the BJP.

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According to them, Kumar who is an “image-conscious” politician may not have taken lightly the things unfolding in such a way although he chose to keep his mouth shut in public.

“It was over the issue of law and order that Kumar was voted to power but now he gets threats from the same quarter. It can surely impact the state politics today or tomorrow,” they say.

Experts say the RJD which has its vote base primarily among Yadavs and Muslims just can’t afford to ignore the ‘sentiments’ of Shahabuddin.

Shahabuddin’s personal grudge against Kumar is an open secret now. It was during the previous NDA government led by Kumar that he had dozens of cases heaped on him.

Then the government started speedy trial of his cases and even formed special courts well inside the jail to try his cases.

It was the result of this speedy trial that Shahabuddin was convicted in at least four criminal cases and handed punishments from five-year jail sentence to life term.

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