On Sunday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy CM Sushil Modi along with other ministers gathered at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna to participate in a human chain event - one of several being put up across the state with a cumulative length of over 16,000 km.
The event called 'Jal, Jeevan, Hariyali' (Water, Life, Greenery) is an initiative and flagship programme of the Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to fight climate change, among other objectives. The Bihar government had claimed that the human chain at the event would turn out to be the longest one ever attempted. The Bihar government had organised such events back in 2017 and 2018 as well in support of prohibition of liquor and against dowry and child marriage.
Back when the event was announced it drew immense criticism from the Opposition in the State, especially from arch nemesis party RJD with RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav saying, "So many trees were cut by Nitish Kumar for making highways and for the other so-called development works. Water is being wasted every day from the faulty taps in the government offices while the CM keeps talking about Jal, Jeevan and Hariyali. He is going to make the school children stand in this cold weather for the human chain, who will take responsibility if they fall sick?"
This event also allegedly caused an internal rift with the RJD and Congress. Sources report that with the Bihar Vidhan Sabha Elections merely eight months away, going against their party diktat, three RJD MLAs along with one Congress MLA supported the human chain organised by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar all across Bihar on 19th January. RJD President Lalu Yadav had termed this initiative as "Chal, Sheehan, gharial". Whereas RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has described Jal Jeevan Hariyali yojana as a loot yojana of Nitish Kumar.