Last month witnessed many such gatherings. On October 30, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) held its 'Khabardar Rally' (Caution Rally) in Patna. It was called mainly to protest the recent acquittal by Patna High Court of all the 26 accused of killing 58 Dalits in the Laxmanpur Bathe village of Jehanabad district 16 years ago.
The CPI (M-L) had other points to drive home too, as their slogan for the rally stated: "Samanti-Sampradayik Takaton, Khabardar! Looteri Fasiwadi Takaton, Khabardar! Bihar ki Janta hai tayyar!!" (Beware feudal-communal forces! Beware usurper- fascist forces! For the people of Bihar are ready!!).
Before that, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had convened a 'Hunkar Rally' in Patna on October 27, which was addressed by its star campaigner and prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi. Besides starting his campaign in Bihar for the 2014 general elections, Modi launched a broadside against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on his home turf for snapping ties with BJP. It was obvious from the posters put up by BJP across the state asking people to attend Modi's rally that Nitish Kumar would be his target.
"Gathbandhan ka Tiraskar, Hunkar utha Bihar," (Bihar roars against the dishonouring of the alliance) read one poster. "Vishwasghat ko Dhikkar, Hunkarega Bihar," ('Shame on the betrayer' will be Bihar's cry!) another poster read.
Modi tore into his bete noire Nitish, calling him an "opportunist" who had "betrayed and backstabbed" Jaiprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia and also the people of Bihar for his own Prime Ministerial ambitions.
He accused Nitish of playing 'aankh michauli' (hide and seek) with Congress. Modi also backed the Rs 50,000 crore special package demand for Bihar, as made by the state BJP unit, and asked the people to wait for "another 200 days" (when the BJP would come to power).
Thanking the people of Bihar for showering love on him, Modi said he would return it "with interest."