Patna: After the Left parties' successful shutdown in Bihar on Thursday against Citizenship (Amendment)Act 2019, (CAA) as well as the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is gearing for its shutdown call on Saturday, with thousands of RJD leaders, workers and supporters panning across the state.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and party chief Lalu Prasad stepped up their attack on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his silence over CAA and NRC despite the countrywide protests.
RJD's Bihar Bandh against CAA and NRC would be second in a row in the state.
Meanwhile, as per a PTI report, Nitish Kumar broke his long silence over the protests on Friday.
In a terse reply to queries from journalists who had sought his response on the proposed country-wide implementation of NRC, including Bihar, as stated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the floor of Parliament, Kumar said: “Kaahe ka NRC? Bilkul laagu nahin hoga (NRC, what for? Will not at all be implemented), he told mediapersons.
Ahead of Saturday’s bandh, RJD's youth workers and leaders plan to take out a candlelight march in Patna on Friday night. "RJD's shutdown is known for its impact in past. The December 21 shutdown will be a historic one to save the Constitution", party leader leader Shakti Yadav said.
Another RJD leader Bhai Virender said thousands of party workers, leaders, supporters and sympathisers will hit the streets and large numbers and common people will also join the protest against CAA and NRC.
Tejashwi Yadav in a tweet said: “We have called a bandh in Bihar on December 21 against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Act is unconstitutional and against humanity. It has exposed the divisive character of BJP”.
RJD's shutdown is being supported by its allies, Rashtriya Lok Samya Party (RLSP) of former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, Hindustan Awam Manch of former chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Vikassheel Insaan party (VIP) of Mukesh Sahni and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Lenninist).
Tejashwi Yadav has warned the National Democratic Alliance government, led by Nitish Kumar, against using force on the peaceful protest during the party’s shutdown. “If the state government does anything to create trouble or harm us during the shutdown, it should get ready to face its consequences” he said in a reference to use of state power in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, both ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party against the protestors on Thursday, in which three people were killed and dozens injured.
The RJD leader reminded the state government that staging protests was a right in a democratic country and it was for the state administration and police to manage the protest. ”We have called a peaceful shutdown and we do not want any type of violence, disturbance and trouble”, he added.
Tejashwi Yadav attacked Nitish Kumar on the issue. ”Too many cooks spoil the broth & too many singers singing in their own tunes spoil the song. JD-U has been hijacked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi & Amit Shah. Puppet Nitish is dancing on RSS’s tunes. It's borrowed players are singing in different tunes to confuse the citizens & cater to each opposing opinion”, he said.
Lalu Prasad, who is undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Ranchi, after being convicted in the fodder scam cases, also did not hesitate to target Nitish Kumar .”Country is burning. Citizens are out on streets protesting against constitutional crisis. Political parties to civil societies have spoken. Any guess on only turncoat leader who is conveniently silent? History will judge him for betrayal, deceit, opportunism, cowardice & immortality”he said in his tweet.
Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United voted in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in both Houses of Parliament. It is a different matter thought that party national vice-president, Prashant Kishor, had publicly opposed the party’s support to CAB.