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After rally is blocked, Tejashwi begins strike in Bihar

Former deputy chief minister has also been denied permission to stay in government’s guest houses

Gulf News

Patna: Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) official and leader of opposition in Bihar assembly Tejashwi Yadav had his rally cancelled on Thursday after authorities announced prohibitory orders around the rally venue hours before he was to address.

This is the first time since Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joined hands with the Bhartiya Janata Party (NJP) that the Bihar opposition leader has been denied permission to hold his rally.

Tejashwi who is leading a campaign against Kumar after he pulled out of the ruling Grand Alliance, and then suddenly joined hands with the BJP, was to hold a meeting in eastern Bihar’s Bhagalpur town on Thursday noon to make “revelations” related to alleged involvement of NDA leaders in now Rs10 billion (Dh572 million) fund transfer scam but he was suddenly denied permission to hold rally.

Tejashwi, son of RJD president Lalu Prasad, had reached the Bhagalpur on Wednesday night itself in connection with the rally but was suddenly told by the administration that he can’t go ahead with the programme since section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) which prohibits an assembly of more than four persons in a an area, has been imposed keeping in view the a Hindu festival, leaving him stunned.

Angry at this move, Tejaswi accompanied by two party parliamentarians and other supporters staged a sit-in right outside the Bhagalapur railway station around midnight on Wednesday. His supporters turned further angry after Tejashwi was also denied stay in government’s guest houses. To make matter worse, the senior police and administrative officials did not receive his calls.

Soon after strike, however, Bhagalpur district superintendent of police Manoj Kumar rushed to spot and requested him to end his sit-in. It was after much persuasion that he ended his strike but refused to stay in the guest house provided by the administration. Later, he passed the night staying in a private hotel.

“I was to hold a meeting in Bhagalpur over scam [where more than Rs10 billion was siphoned off from government bank accounts to the accounts of an NGO] but the chief minister imposed section 144 in the areas out of panic,” Tejashwi tweeted on Thursday.

He alleged the prohibitory orders were imposed to prevent him expose the scamsters adding he had never imagined the chief minister could stoop to such a low level. “How many meetings you will cancel? I will come again and again to expose the scamsters,” Tejashwi told the chief minister in a series of tweets.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad also launched attacks on the chief minister for cancelling his son’s meeting in Bhagalpur without giving any prior information.

“By getting Tejashwi’s rally cancelled, Nitish Kumar has proved he is involved in the scam,” Prasad alleged adding the chief minister joined the company of the BJP just to save himself from the scam.

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