On Sunday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was re-elected unopposed as the president of the Janata Dal (United) for a term of three years. He was the only candidate from his party who filed the nomination for this post. The deadline in this regard was October 5. His certificate of re-election was officially handed over at the party office in New Delhi to Kumar’s representative Sanjay Kumar Singh, who is a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) in Bihar.
According to the national election officer of the JD(U), Anil Hegde, the notification for the election to the president’s post was issued on September 27. As there was no other party member who filed his nomination, Hegde declared Kumar’s victory.
He said, “On September 27, a notification was issued for the election to the post of JDU party president. As till date, only Nitish Kumar has filed nominations and October 5 being the day for scrutiny and him being the only candidate for the post, therefore, I announced his election unopposed.”
Meanwhile, the Water Resources Minister in the Bihar cabinet, Sanjay Jha, lauded Kumar’s re-election and predicted that the JD(U) would form the government under his Kumar’s leadership once again in 2020.
Jha opined, "I congratulate Nitish Kumar on becoming the party president again. Under his leadership, the JDU will form government again in Bihar in 2020 and once again he will become the Chief Minister of the state. Kumar is a visionary leader not only in Bihar but he is one of the best political figures in the country. I am proud to work under his leadership.”
The intriguing thing is that Jha’s praise comes at a juncture when at least 73 people have died in flood-related incidents in Bihar for the last few weeks. The capital city of Patna has been flooded, completely disrupting the day-to-day life of people. What has conflated the situation is the fact that the Bihar CM has refused to take any tough questions on his government’s inept handling of the floods. Instead, he has directed his aggression towards the media. For instance, Republic’s reporters have been manhandled and barred from covering events, where Kumar has been scheduled to speak. Leaders of its own coalition partner BJP including Union Minister Giriraj Singh and Ram Kripal Yadav have come down heavily on the Bihar CM. Thus, the absence of any opposition to Kumar internally can be perceived as a sign of sheer apathy on the part of Bihar’s principal ruling party.
(With ANI inputs)