Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may be late in joining social media but he is closely watching the medium. Once a friendly ally with the BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has alleged that “divisive forces” were using social media as a tool for “character assassination” and spread of intolerance towards things they did not like.
While attending a book release function in the state capital Patna, the supreme of Janata Dal (United) party further added, “When famous economist Amartya Sen praised Bihar model of development, divisive forces hailing from a party led a campaign on social media to assassinate his character.”
The CM related the incident to the days of Emergency in 1975 when freedom of speech was throttled. He thinks that social media as a medium is being abused since these forces are resorting to character assassination with the help of social media.
The remarks made by the CM are clearly upon his rival and BJP’s PM candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, Narendra Modi and his loyal supporters. The incident goes back in the month of July when Amartya Sen had praised Bihar model while inaugurating the book “The New Bihar: Rekindling governance and development.”
He had later told a TV channel that he did not want Modi to become Prime Minister as he did not have secular credentials. The statement had infuriated a lot of Modi fans who had made demands that the Bharat Ratna awarded to Mr. Sen should be taken back since it was the BJP party that had awarded the respect. BJP MP Chandan Mitra who had made the comment, had later regretted his remark.
Interestingly, it is the same book which was released in Patna by Nitish Kumar yesterday and the CM left no opportunity in taking an indirect dig on his rival and his social media presence.
This is not the first time the Bihar CM has commented on Modi’s social media clout. Previously Nitish had commented “tweeting is for birds” which showed his disdain for social media and the growing clout of Modi’s growing social media presence. Interestingly, Nitish now has himself joined the social media bandwagon to connect with the youth of Bihar.
With the elections in the air no political party wants to miss out on social media even if they are not comfortable with the new and open nature of it.