Nitish Kumar launches JD-U's outreach exercise amid poster war in Patna

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The Janata Dal (United) launched its outreach programme on Sunday to connect the party’s booth-level workers directly with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar through video conferencing to boost their morale and get ground-level feedback ahead of the assembly elections later this year.

The exercise came hours before Union home minister Amit Shah was to address a virtual rally in Bihar.

There was also a poster attack on the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) with pictures of Lalu Prasad flanked by Md Shahabuddin and Raj Ballabh Yadav – all serving jail sentences – with a slogan ‘Kaidi bajaa raha thali, Janata bajao taali’ (prisoners are banging plates, public will applaud).

The JD-U feigned ignorance about the poster but it seemed to be in response to RJD’s call to oppose the BJP’s virtual rally by beating utensils. The posters came up at various strategic points in the city overnight, indicating that the poster war in the forthcoming assembly elections could get vicious.

Bihar’s information and public relations minister Neeraj Kumar said he was not aware of who came up with posters against the RJD, but he appreciated the catchy slogan. “Lalu Prasad, Raj Ballabh Yadav and Md Shahabuddin are all judicial migrants and whoever came up with the posters needs to be applauded for bringing out the truth in such an apt way,” he said.

Away from the poster war, Nitish Kumar interacted with party’s grassroots level workers in five districts – east and west Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi and Madhubani. The digital connect with Kumar, who is also JD-U’s national president, will continue till June 12. Due to this, the ‘Sunday Samvad’ of the party involving other senior leaders through Facebook live sessions was held on Saturday.

JD-U MP Rajiv Ranjan said the pandemic could change a lot of things, including electioneering.

“In the changed scenario, public meetings and rallies will not be possible and hence new ways of connecting with the masses are being found out. CM’s interaction with party’s workers was a step in that direction,” he added.

Singh also took a swipe at the RJD, saying those who have to clap or beat utensils should remain busy in their pursuit, while Bihar would repeat the Lok Sabha results in the Assembly polls. “Even after the election, they will have to do the same,” he added. In the LS polls last year, NDA had won 39 of the 40 seats.

Another JD-U leader said that the CM could visualize the change in the wake of the pandemic much earlier to plan accordingly. “The CM is not an impulsive user of social media, like many, but he knows the importance of technology, interacting with officials on a weekly basis through video conferencing. He is now using it to connect with the party’s grassroots workers and masses,” he added.

The digital connect with the booth-level workers by CM is a sequel to the major digital initiative he had undertaken from May 1-16, connecting with all the party MPs, MLAs, MLCs, district chiefs, VIdhan Sabha in-charges and other senior leaders.

“Later through ‘Sunday Samvad’ the continuity was maintained by other leaders, as they reached out to the masses in various assembly segments with the CM’s message and government’s report card, especially the initiatives during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said a senior party leader.

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