Bihar assembly winter session likely to be stormy

  • | Sunday | 28th November, 2021

Patna, Nov 28 (PTI) The five-day winter session of the bicameral legislature in Bihar, which will commence on Monday, is expected to be stormy with the opposition in possession of sufficient ammunition to target the ruling dispensation. The Nitish Kumar government is scheduled to present the second supplementary budget for the current financial year which it would seek to get through warding off attacks from the opposition parties. The opposition camps would seek to put the supplementary budget on the mat on a number of issues, most notably the recent hooch deaths which flew in the face of the much-touted ban on sale and consumption of alcohol. Lalu Prasad, the president of the RJD which has the largest number of MLAs, had dropped ample hints of future course of action when he recently sought to disown the prohibition clamped on liquor in the state six years ago. His party was then sharing power and his son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, now the leader of the opposition, was the deputy chief minister. Prasad had claimed that he had warned Nitish Kumar against going for such a drastic step, pointing out that alcohol was freely available in adjacent states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand besides neighbouring country Nepal and the prohibition in Bihar would give liquor smugglers a free run. Tejashwi Yadav has been repeatedly alleging, on the floor of the House as well as outside, that the prohibition existed only on paper and poor people were being targeted for its violation while those with resources could get liquor of their choice delivered at their doorsteps. The RJD has also been livid over the police high-handedness that has been witnessed after a review meeting chaired by the chief minister for better implementation of the ban. Searches, conducted at wedding parties where women were present in large numbers by police contingents not comprising female personnel, have evoked an outcry. The CM"s utterances in defence of the police action led to an angry retort from his former aide and currently RJD’s national vice president Shivanand Tiwari who angrily issued a statement alleging that Kumar was trying to turn Bihar into a “police state”. Yet another issue on which the government might face the opposition brickbats is the poverty index report of the NITI Aayog, which presents an unflattering picture of Bihar notwithstanding the ruling NDA"s claim of an economic turnaround in the last decade and a half. Equations between the RJD and its old but now estranged ally Congress will also be a thing to be watched out for. The two parties split up after the RJD snubbed the Congress in bypolls held to a couple of assembly segments. The squabble helped Kumar’s JD(U) retain both seats. PTI NAC BDC BDC

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