Friday, October 03, 2008

Kosi enters 'politics'

The Kosi river has changed its course in North Bihar. It appears, the flood caused by the river will change the political course too. A senior Janata Dal(U) leader and four times chief minister of Bihar, Jagannath Mishra may change the post-flood political course of the state too.

Agitated over the mismanagement and inadequate relief works in the flood-hit areas, an anguished Mishra resigned from the office of the chairman of the Kisan Cell of the party alongwith hundreds of his supporters and announced his decision to relinquish politics and devote the entire life for the Kosi sufferers.Mishra repeatedly alleged relief and rescue management was awfully bad.

His son, Nitish Mishra who is disaster management minister is too unhappy with JD (U) as he has been ignored in the flood relief management. Nitish invited the wrath of the chief minister, Nitish Kumar after eh allegedly leaked out a confidential letter of the then DM of Saharsa, Narmadeshwar Lal, warning the state secretariat of an imminent danger to Kosi embankment. The chief ministers suspects junior Mishra’s hand in the leak.

Mishra is trying to get reentry to the Congress through the good offices of Pranab Mukherjee. He is also being wooed by he BSP chief, Mayawati, who wants him to lead BSP in Bihar. With Dalit voters going to Mayawai, she hopes, Jagannath Mishra’s induction into the BSP may help party consolidate Brahmin votes to the Bahujan Samaj Party.

With the general election on anvil, the political picture in Bihar in the month of September, like in the previous month, was centered on the recent flood that has affected more than 25 lakh people.

With both Lalu Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan refusing to let go this opportunity of using the natural calamity to extract political mileage, the CM Nitish Kumar too was forced to jump into the bandwagon. The CM decided to celebrate the holy festival of Id in one of the many relief camps that have come up in the flood affected areas.

Earlier it was Lalu Yadav who was camping in and around the minority dominated camps so as to send out a friendly message to the community that had deserted him in the previous elections.

Similarly Ram Vilas Paswan too was not far behind as he gave every opportunity to the snap seekers to photograph him while he was distributing medicines in the various camps that were organized by SAIL. In case of Lalu it was Railways who was used as a messenger, and in the case of Paswan it was the PSU, SAIL that was deployed as a medium to seek political attention.

In between all this, the brick batting and the allegations and the counter allegations between the spokespersons of various parties continued to hog the limelight.

With Lalu Yadav announcing that flood will be the major issue in the next elections, another union minister, Paswan, too has decided to make poor flood management by the BJP-Janata Dal(U) government the main poll issue. Advertisements are appearing daily in the local television channels and the newspapers from various government departments highlighting the achievements of Nitish Government in flood management. The chief minister spent the entire Eid day among the flood hit Muslims in Araria. Paswan, too joined them in the relief camps .Lalu Prasad Yadav is visiting the relief camps almost every week.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, preferred to donate Rs one crores to a separate relief fund set up by Lalu instead of sending the cheque to the PM or CM relief fund. This development too leads to the belief that the flood in Kosi will definitely change in the political course in Bihar during the elections.

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