Protests by upper castes turn serious in Bihar, could spoil NDA show

Protests by upper castes turn serious in Bihar, could spoil NDA show

PATNA: The continuing protests by the Swarn Sena over the issue of restoration of provision for immediate arrest under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is slowly becoming a matter of serious concern for the ruling NDA in Bihar.

On Sunday, at least three leaders from the BJP who included deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Manoj Tiwari and Nityanand Rai, both party MPs, were shown black flags and greeted with angry protests at different places in in Bihar, indicating the gravity of the situation.

While Modi was shown black flags in Darbhanga, Tiwari was greeted with black flags in Kaimur and Rohtas districts.

In Kaimur the protesters blocked the carcade of Tiwari while in Rohtas’s Sasaram town, the mob angrily protested against him, prompting the police to use lathicharge.

Similar protests were seen in Sitamarhi while state BJP chief Rai had go there to attend a party programme.

The son of Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar too became a victim of Swarn Sena who not only showed black flags to him but also pelted stones on his car.

“Why didn’t your father resign from Lok Sabha to protest against the Act?” the protesters asked.

Kumar, a member from upper caste Bhumihar community, had got elected on RLSP ticket from the Jehanabad seat in the last LS polls but now he has formed his own party after rebelling against Upendra Kushwaha.

Earlier the Swarn sena activists had mobbed union minister Ashwini Kumar Choube and showed black flags to him in Madhubani district on Saturday and in Bhagalpur district on Friday.

What is worrying for the NDA is that the protesters have also been targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their speeches saying though the BJP was voted to power due to their overwhelming support in 2014, the party was acting against the interests of the upper castes.

Observers say the NDA leadership is immediately required to tackle the situation lest it could go out of control and ultimately prove deadlier for the coalition in the upcoming polls.

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