Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who kicked off the JD(U) election campaign with a virtual rally on Monday, claimed that people call him "Quantaliya Baba" as he had distributed quintals of foodgrains to the families of migrant workers and people in flood-affected areas.
Speaking for three hours, a record for a JDU leader, Nitish said that during his visit to Darbhanga in north Bihar, people were describing him as Quantaliya Baba. Irrigation Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha, who was with the CM said in rural areas too, Nitish Kumar was known as "Quintaliya Baba" for his decision to distribute free ration to the people till November and heavy gratuitous relief.
Earlier, Nitish was bestowed with the moniker of ‘Sushasan Babu' for his clean image and focus on law and order in his first and second term as the state's chief minister.
Nitish listed his achievements since 2005 when he came to power and claimed the state had improved in all sectors - power, road and water. In terms of law and order, Bihar was doing well as it was placed at 33rd position in rape, 29th on crime against women and 23rd on kidnapping, he said.
He set the agenda of the party's campaign by comparing his three terms as chief minister with that of 15 years of Lalu-Rabri rule. Nitish said that even High Court had called their regime as Jungle Raj.
"Once Lalu Prasad went to jail, people are feeling liberated and free," he said.
He regretted that social media was being misused to campaign against him and his government. He too once asked his irrigation minister during a stay at Rajgir Circuit House to write ten tweets and release them in phases.
He realised its futility after getting response on five tweets and cancelled the remaining tweets.
Speaking for the first time to the electors all over the state through the digital platform, Nitish said Bihar fought successfully against coronavirus and it was because of the success to control COVID-19 that the Election Commission has decided to conduct Bihar assembly elections on schedule.
The chief minister said district magistrates have been directed to distribute free masks to all. He claimed he was the first to alert the nation on the spread of endemic.
He reiterated his commitment on three fronts - not to compromise on corruption, crime and communalism. During his speech, there was no mention of his party's NDA partners BJP or LJP.
Bijendra Prasad Yadav, energy minister, however, remembered Atal Bihari Vajpayee and quoted his famous poem "Rarr Nahi Thanunga" and said JDU was against any confrontation.
Without naming RJD leaders, he said they use abusive languages against JDU leaders, but the party would not respond.
Party leaders had installed TV sets in all the 243 constituencies to facilitate people to hear the chief minister.