How a call from this neta left the Patna DM stumped
Patna, Jan 22: The caller divulges his identity over the telephone, causing the voice of the peremptory bureaucrat on the line to quiver, as crowds erupt in cheers.
The video of the telephonic exchange between RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Patna District Magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh, that took place on Wednesday night, has gone viral on the social media.
It was a rare display of assertiveness in public by Yadav, who happens to be the unchallenged leader of the opposition in the state where the recent assembly elections saw him coming out of his father Lalu Prasad's shadow and steer his party to an impressive performance.
The 31-year-old leader had dialled the officer's number from the Eco Park here, where hundreds of protesters, all Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) pass job aspirants, had gathered.
The agitators, who had cleared their tests in 2019, have been staging a protest for a number of days at Gardanibagh, which has been designated as a "dharna sthal" by the district administration.
They were seeking appointment as government teachers, in accordance with a Patna High Court direction.
On Wednesday, a skirmish had led to their being driven away from Gardanibagh and their food and other belongings, kept at a stadium nearby, were also allegedly thrown away.
Learning that the agitators were squatting at the Eco Park, adjacent to the secretariat, in the thick of the winter night, Yadav who stays a kilometre away drove to the spot in a show of solidarity.
He telephoned the DM and apprised him of the situation following which the officer asked him to send the details on WhatsApp.
Yadav, who was making the call with his phone's loudspeaker on, asked the DM by what time could remedial action be expected.
"What do you mean by what time? You have not even sent me the details so far," snapped the officer.
Realizing that the DM was, perhaps unmindful of the identity of the caller's identity, Yadav said emphatically, "DM sahib, this is Tejashwi Yadav", evoking the word "sir" multiple times from the recipient of the call who obviously sounded spooked.
The crowd clapped wildly and the enthused young leader spoke into the phone: "Please do the needful at the earliest else I will have to join these people in their dharna at the Eco Park".
More claps and whistles followed. A video clip of the animated exchange has left the social media abuzz.
At a press conference on Thursday, when asked about the incident, Yadav said, "The attitude of the officer was simply a reflection on the insensitivity of the Nitish Kumar government."
"People do not get their rights unless they are ready to pay RCP tax," he quipped referring to his often repeated allegations against the Bihar Chief Minister's key aide and JD(U) president RCP Singh.
"But we have a duty towards people as the opposition.
We will make the government heed their voice," he asserted.