Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, who had mounted a spirited campaign against the ruling BJP-JD(U) alliance last year, is maintaining pressure on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's government with his moves. The latest in the series is his support for protesting teachers in Patna.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader has extended his support to teachers in Patna who are demanding recruitment by the state government. After the protesters told him that they had been denied permission for a sit-in at their planned venue, Yadav called up Patna District Magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh to seek an assurance that the protest would be allowed.
"These people say they are not being allowed to sit on dharna," he told the official, adding that the teachers only wanted to exercise their democratic right to protest.
"Will they need to keep asking for permission daily? There was a lathi charge, their food was thrown away, they were driven away...Now they are all scattered. Some of them are here at Eco Park with me," the RJD leader said, adding that he would send the application via WhatsApp.
The senior official assured him that he would look into it but was evasive when Yadav asked for a time frame.
"[Application] bhejiye na pehle. Kab tak matlab? Hisab lijiyega hamse? (Send the application first. What do you mean by when [it will be done]? Will you take account now?)," a miffed Singh was heard saying.
In response, the RJD leader said, "Hum Tejashwi Yadav bol rahe hai, DM sahab (This is Tejashwi Yadav speaking, DM sir)."
The official immediately changed his tone and replied: "Hanji sir, sir, sir (Ok, sir), causing the protesters to burst into laughter.
"I will send you a WhatsApp test. Respond fast, or we will have to sit here all night," Yadav said on receiving assurance from the DM.
Earlier, in October–November, Yadav had led the Mahagathbandhan to challenge the Nitish Kumar-led alliance during the Bihar assembly elections.