Viral videos portray Bihar’s two new deputy CMs in a comic role
Whereas Tarkishore Prasad struggled without success to correctly identify India’s Prime Minister in one video, Renu Devi struggled with numbers in another video doing the rounds
Two videos that went viral on the day of the swearing-in ceremony of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and his ministerial colleagues portrayed the two newly appointed deputy CMs in a somewhat comic role. Whereas Tarkeshwar Prasad struggled without success to correctly identify India’s Prime Minister in one video, Renu Devi struggled with numbers.
Tarkishore Prasad is seen naming Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi in that order as the country’s Prime Minister and he could not give the correct answer even in the third attempt, eventually needing a prompt from a supporter to name Narendra Modi as the country’s PM.
Tarkishore Prasad, it may be recalled, is walking into the shoes of the outgoing deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, the best known BJP leader of the state.
The video pertaining to Renu Devi, the other deputy CM, shows her making highly entertaining faux pas of living not one or two years ahead of the time but exactly 18000 years as she says she had been working for the party since 1988 and the reward had come to her in 20020 (twenty thousand twenty).
An idea of Sushil Modi’s political weight can be gauged from the fact that not one but two deputy CMs have been appointed in his place and even taken together, the duo is unlikely to match Sushil Modi’s shadow, says activist SB Bhaskar.
For the discerning eye, the message went beyond the viral videos. Those who claim to read body language had plenty to read during the oath taking ceremony in Patna’s Raj Bhawan on Monday afternoon. A seasoned politician like Nitish Kumar taking oath as CM for the seventh time read only one paragraph of the oath earlier read by him nearly a dozen times both as CM and Union minister.
After reading the first paragraph, Nitish proceeded to sign the oath register when he was gently asked to first complete the second and perhaps more important paragraph pertaining to the secrecy part of his oath. Nitish again went to the mike to render a low decibel reading of the secrecy part of the oath. The first part made him pledge allegiance to the Constitution - a document many of his political friends want to change.
Observers attribute this faux pas by an otherwise precise Nitish to the ongoing struggle within, his failure to retain his trusted deputy and the impending nightmare of dealing with a rustic looking Sushil substitute, a class XII certificate holder who is going to be the state’s next finance minister.
Even before the formal commencement of the oath taking ceremony, body language readers found the body language of both Home Minister Amit Shah and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar intriguing. When Union Home Minister Amit Shah distinctly leaned to his right to utter something to him, Nitish kept his eyes fixed on the stage, appearing deliberately indifferent.
At the high tea too that followed the oath taking ceremony, all cameras had only one target - outgoing deputy CM Sushil Modi who mechanically picked up the plate completely ignoring requests for a sound bite - something extremely unusual for the normally media savvy SuMO.
Prem Kumar, the eight time Gaya MLA and Agriculture Minister in the previous govt, was captured on camera making no secret of his ambition to be deputy CM, a position earlier held by Prem’s friend turned foe. Much to Prem’s disappointment, he kept on waiting for the warrant of appointment till the very last moment.
Meanwhile, as per the contents of a letter written by 1994 batch IPS officer Amitabh Kumar Das, the mysterious death of Nita Chaudhary, wife of Mewalal Chaudhary, the controversial ex-VC of the Agricultural University, needs a thorough probe. Chaudhary, it may be recalled, was administered the oath of office as a minister by Govvernor Fagu Chauhan on Monday. He was made a minister from the JD(U) quota.
In the letter dated 17 November 2020 addressed to the DGP, the IPS officer has said that on 27 May 2019, the minister’s wife Nita Chaudhary sustained severe burn injuries at her home and died five days later on 2 June 2019. A case was registered against Mewalal Chaidhary in the Sabour police station of the Bhagalpur district in connection with the ‘appointment scam’.
As per his information, the death of the minister’s wife was not accidental and it was part of a conspiracy linked with the ‘appointment scam’ in which the minister figured as an accused, said Das’s letter.
In a somewhat sarcastic tone, the IPS officer said that the state police showed rare pro activeness in the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case, and that the mysterious death of the minister’s wife needs further probe through an SIT and the minister too needs to be quizzed. The IPS officer confirmed having written the letter.