Nitish Kumar’s attempts to ‘touch feet’ — humility, helplessness or something else? : The Tribune India

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Nitish Kumar’s attempts to ‘touch feet’ — humility, helplessness or something else?

RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav rakes it up again, accuses Kumar of ‘insulting the post’

Nitish Kumar’s attempts to ‘touch feet’ — humility, helplessness or something else?

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. Photo: ANI file



Tribune News Service

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, July 11 
Known for his political acumen and called ‘sushasan babu’ by supporters, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar these days is making news but for wrong reasons. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in opposition has been accusing him of “insulting the post” and “people of Bihar”.

The backstory

At a public event in Patna, a visibly upset Nitish Kumar was seen urging a senior official to speed up a road project and even offered to touch his feet to ensure quicker progress.

While top government officials and political leaders present on the stage intervened to prevent Kumar from further escalating the situation, the startled official quickly retreated, exclaiming, “Sir, please don’t do this.”

“Kahiye to hum aapka pair chhu lete hain (I will touch your feet if that is what you want),” Kumar was seen telling the official in the video that went viral, prompting RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav to pen a scathing social media post on him.

RJD slams Nitish Kumar

Tejashwi Yadav, who called him a “helpless, weak and an incapable CM” on Wednesday, took to social media to accuse Kumar of “insulting the post”.

“If an officer or a contractor does not perform his duties honestly, then action should be taken against him as per the rules and not beg him with folded hands. The CM is insulting, not himself but the post,” said Yadav. 

He wondered if “there was any chief minister in the world who is so helpless, weak and powerless that he folds hands and touches the feet of every official, ranging from BDO and SDO to the contractor’s personal staff”.

“The main reason behind it is increasing crime, rampant corruption, migration and administrative anarchy among Biharis that not even an employee, let alone an officer, listens to the CM,” he said, adding that he was worried about the “present and future of Bihar and its 14 crore people”.

Not the first time 

However, this was not for the first time that Nitish Kumar had attempted to touch the feet of a senior official.

According to reports, last month he offered to touch the feet of a senior IAS officer while imploring him to settle land disputes at the earliest by carrying out extensive surveys.

An attempt to touch PM Modi’s feet

Kumar had also attempted to touch the feet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After announcing JD(U)’s support to BJP at an NDA meeting after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, in which his party won 12 seats to emerge as the second largest NDA ally after TDP, Kumar was seen walking towards the PM with folded hands and bowing to touch his feet. 

While PM Modi quickly stopped him from doing so and the two leaders proceeded to shake hands, the action prompted sharp reactions from Kumar’s detractors in Bihar, including his former close aide — political strategist turned activist-politician Prashant Kishor.

“The leader of a state is the pride of its people. But Nitish Kumar brought shame to Bihar when he touched the feet of PM Modi,” Kishor said.

“People ask me why am I now criticising Nitish Kumar as I have worked with him in the past. But he was a different man back then. His conscience had not been put up for sale,” Kishor was quoted.

Prashant Kishor had managed the JD(U) election campaign in 2015, and later joined the party too.

According to reports, after switching sides to the BJP-led NDA government from the INDIA bloc (of which he was one the founding members,), Kumar was seen trying to touch PM Modi’s feet during a campaign rally in Nawada. 

His supporters say Kumar was just trying to “show respect” however, such actions also prompted a debate around his “mental health”.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Bihar #Nitish Kumar #Tejashwi Yadav


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