In Bihar, politicians are known for their angry outbursts and antics – CM Nitish Kumar recently lost his cool when a reporter insisted with his query on the state’s law and order situation. This time, it is Tejashwi Yadav, the RJD leader, who has drawn social media attention.
Yadav reached out to protesting teachers in Patna, who told him that they had been disallowed to stage a sit-in at their planned venue. Yadav spoke to the chief secretary, police chief and the Patna district magistrate and got an assurance that the protest would be allowed.
The RJD leader is well-known for his aggressive barbs against the BJP as well as the administration led by Nitish Kumar. Yadav talked about “washing” his party’s “sins” while offering an apology for the “mistakes” made during his party’s 15-year rule. In 2019, he had warned the ruling NDA saying he is the “son of a lion” when he was not allowed to see his incarcerated father Lalu Prasad.
In the latest episode, it is Yadav’s phone chat with a top official, now being shared widely on social media. Yadav is seen talking to Patna District Magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh. Yadav is heard on the speaker phone.
“These people say they are not being allowed to sit on a dharna,” Yadav says, and asks why.
“Would they be asking for permission daily? They have been lathicharged, their food has been thrown away, they were driven away…Now they are all scattered. Some of them are here at Eco Park with me…”
The RJD MLA says the teachers wanted to exercise their democratic right to protest. “WhatsApp kara dete hai inka application (I will send you their application by WhatsApp. You please allow them),” he tells the senior official.
Singh responds by saying he would look into it. “Kab tak bataiye (when will you do it?)” The officer snaps back: “Kab tak meaning? Will you question me?”
The voice then identifies himself. “Hum Tejashwi Yadav bol rahein hai, DM sahab (This is Tejashwi Yadav speaking).”
The officer’s tone changes almost instantly. “Achha (okay) sir, sir, sir (Ok, sir),” Singh says, as the protesters are heard laughing.
“I will send you a WhatsApp text. Respond or we will have to sit here all night,” Yadav says and hangs up.
Activist Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, commented: “Must watch. And watch it till the end to know why Tejashwi Yadav is fast emerging as one of the most promising mass leaders of India.”