Nitish asks pvt co official to expedite road project, offers to touch his feet

NewsDrum Desk
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Patna, Jul 10 (PTI) A livid Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday asked a representative of a private company to expedite a road project in Patna and even offered to touch his feet to speed it up.

The septuagenarian's awkward gesture came at a function where a stretch of "JP Ganga Path", an expressway along the river that promises to ease traffic congestion in the city, was dedicated to the public.

A presentation was made at the function, attended by dignitaries like Deputy Chief Ministers Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha and local MP Ravi Shankar Prasad, on the progress of the project.

The longest serving CM, who kept wiping beads of sweat from his face, as he sat in the sultry weather, was visibly unimpressed and asked the company official to ensure that the entire work was completed by the end of the year.

He sprang to his feet, saying: "Kahiye to hum aapka pair chhu lete hain (I shall touch your feet if that is what you want).” The horrified official scurried back several steps, screaming "Sir please don't do this", even as top government officials and political leaders also got on their feet to prevent the veteran leader from creating a scene.

The incident came about a week after the chief minister had offered to touch the feet of a high ranking IAS officer, whom he urged to quickly settle land disputes by carrying out extensive surveys since, in Kumar's view, quarrels over holdings were found to be the prime trigger for violent crimes in the state.

Meanwhile, the JP Ganga Path function went off without further ado, but not without creating a buzz on social media and evoking sneers from the opposition.

Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav came out with a statement, sharing the video footage and alleging that the chief minister was "lachaar" (powerless), a reason why he was "always ready to fall at the feet of all, be they government officials or those from the private sector".

Yadav, who takes pride in the fact that his RJD is the single largest party in Bihar assembly, also taunted Kumar for heading a party that had only "43 MLAs" in the 243-strong House, and claimed that "a handful of serving and retired bureaucrats" are running the show in the state. PTI NAC NN