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Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and a tale of two villages

, TNN|
May 13, 2019, 10.40 AM IST
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Agencies
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The villagers say they will vote for their "gaon ka beta"

Highlights

  • Nitish Kumar's native village is more developed than that of former CM and RJD chief Lalu Prasad's Phulwariya in Gopalganj
  • Nitish Kumar's village shooting range, a swanky referral hospital, power sub-station, government middle and high schools, a park with open air gym, concrete roads
(This story originally appeared in on May 13, 2019)
KALYAN BIGHA (NALANDA): Chief minister Nitish Kumar's native village has everything it could ask for and is, perhaps, more developed than that of former CM and RJD chief Lalu Prasad's Phulwariya in Gopalganj, which voted on Sunday.

If Phulwariya has its own railway station and helipad, Kalyan Bigha has an Industrial Training Institute (ITI), a shooting range, a swanky referral hospital, power sub-station, government middle and high schools, a park with open air gym, concrete roads, drains and a 24x7 power supply. Most people in the village, 60km east of Patna, have concrete houses.

The villagers here fondly remember Nitish as "Munna". They say Nitish's family has around 22 acre of land, mainly given to share croppers. A memorial park with busts of Nitish's mother Parmeshwari Devi, father Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh and wife Manju Devi has also been developed on a piece of land belonging to his family.

About 15km from Patna-Bakhtiyarpur four-lane highway, it is Kalyan Bigha from where Nitish had launched his Harit Bihar Kranti (green Bihar campaign) in August 2011. "Nitish ji has a special connect with the village and comes here at least thrice a year on the death anniversary of his father, mother and wife," said Satyaprakash Kumar.

The villagers say they will vote for their "gaon ka beta" (son of the soil). "Nitish ji has done a lot of work for the village. From bringing in electricity to water, schools and a hospital, there is not a single corner of the village that hasn't been touched by development," said Rajnish Kumar, a farmer.

Though people are happy with the development, a section in Manjhi Tola (hamlet) has its reservations after Nitish changed sides. "Side badalte rehte hai. Lalu ji badhay aur unhi ko dhakka maar ke aagey chale gaye (He keeps changing sides. It was Lalu ji who made him what he is today, but he pushed him aside and moved ahead)," said Keshav Manjhi. However, he also adds that since he is a son of the soil, the villagers will vote for his candidate.

A neighbouring village, Nanda Bigha, has also gained for its proximity to Kalyan Bigha. "Development started here before Kalyan Bigha, from the time Nitish ji became the railway minister," says Manoj Singh, a farmer. From electricity to water and proper drainage system, Nanda Bigha is almost like a twin brother.

"It does not matter who the candidate is. There is only one face for us - Nitish ji . Not only in our village but the entire district has been developed by him," said Sharad Paswan, who could be seen sitting with a congregation of men at a temple in the town.

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