Coming out of jail after 13 years, the don-turned-politician has courted controversy again. And what’s more, his first statement has triggered a storm in political circles, prompting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to convene a high-level meeting on September 12 to discuss how to deal with the situation.
Mohammad Shahabuddin has virtually challenged the authority of the post of the Chief Minister by saying, “Lalu Prasad was my leader, is my leader and will be my leader whereas circumstances forced us to accept Nitish Kumar as chief minister or leader of the coalition government in Bihar”.
He did not stop here, the four-time-MP from Siwan and member of Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) national executive added, “Nitish Kumar has the capability to win not more than 20 seats whenever elections are held in Bihar”. Did he make the statement on his own or was he briefed to create a flutter in order to settle political scores? This is on everybody’s lips.
The cavalcade of Shahabuddin, carrying 37 criminal cases against him filed in various police stations across Bihar, started from Bhagalpur on September 10. His hundreds of supporters who included dozens of legislators and a couple ministers were given a free hand at the toll tax plazas. “Who can dare to bell the cat,” said a police officer posted in Muzaffarpur on the condition of anonymity.
At his native village of Pratapur in Siwan district, thousands of people greeted Shahabuddin when the alleged killer of three sons of Chanda Babu and a journalist landed sitting in a Pajero vehicle. Scores of media persons from different channels and organisations were seen lining up to take bytes. The scenarios resembled as if a film shooting was in progress, which is being watched by curious onlookers.
That, the statements of Shahabuddin admittedly have angered Nitish Kumar and his diehard supporters, who were waiting for a denial or reaction from Lalu Prasad Yadav. Though that did not happen, his son, Tejashwi Yadav, deputy chief minister, took the initiative to douse the CM’s anger by boasting, “the alliance is as strong as the Himalayas”.
His contention was immediately brushed off by senior RJD leader and former union minister, Raghubansh Prasad Singh. Singh has supported the statements of Mohammad Shahabuddin.
Meanwhile, the government is considering to send Shahabuddin back to jail under the Crime Control Act (CCA).