- Tejaswi Yadav arrived in Patna at the protesting site to show support to the teachers
- Yadav was told the protestors had been denied permission for a sit-in at their planned venue
- Yadav called the District Magistrate and the call went viral
The opposition leader in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav, failed to oust Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the state elections held in November, however, his clout is intact, or at least it appeared from his phone conversation with a top official, widely shared on social media.
The leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) arrived at the site where the teachers were protecting to show his support the, in Patna, when he was told that the protesters had been denied permission to hold a sit-in protest at their planned venue.
He spoke to the Chief Secretary, police chief as well as the District Magistrate of Patna and extracted an assurance that the protest would be allowed.
In the video which has been widely circulated on social media platforms, Tejashwi Yadav can be seen speaking to the District Magistrate (DM) of Patna, Chandrashekhar Singh, on the spot, while being surrounded by the protesting teachers and Mr Singh can be heard on the speaker phone.
“These people say they are not being allowed to sit on dharna,” Tejashwi Yadav said, and asked why.
“Will they need to keep asking for permission daily? There has been a lathi charge, their food has been thrown away, they were driven away…Now they are all scattered. Some of them are here at Eco Park with me…”
The Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from RJD said that the teachers are only requestinbg to exercise their right to protest
“Whatsapp kara dete hai inka application (I will send you their application by WhatsApp. You please allow them,” he instructed the senior official.
Mr Singh replied he would look into it.
Yadav asked, “Kab tak bataiye (When will you do it?)”
The officer, rattled by this time, shot back: “Kab tak meaning? You will question me?”
The RJD leader replied evenly: “Hum Tejashwi Yadav bol rahein hai, DM sahab (This is Tejashwi Yadav speaking).”
The DM then took a pause, and then there was an instant change of tone.
“Achha sir, sir, sir (Ok, sir),” Mr Singh said, as the protesters burst into laughter.
“I will send you a WhatsApp test. Respond fast or we will have to sit here all night,” Tejashwi Yadav said as he disconnected the call.
Sharing the clip on Twitter, activist Sudheendra Kulkarni, who is the former aide of the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, commented: “Must watch. And watch it till the end to know why Tejashwi Yadav is fast emerging as one of the most promising mass leaders of India.”
The 31 year old Tejashwi Yadav led the opposition coalition to an impressive tally in the Bihar election, however, he fell short of a majority.
Owing to the aggressive campaign, his own party emerged as the largest seat winner at 75, 1 more tha BJP.