Bihar Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha, who faces a no-confidence motion by members of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Monday delivered an emotional speech at a function on Vidhan Sabha premises on the occasion of Independence Day. Sinha, a senior BJP leader who had shown reluctance to resign and is likely to be voted out on August 24, read out from a written text which sounded like a veritable farewell speech.
In the speech that ran into seven pages, Sinha made many references to the twenty months for which he has been holding the post and his attempts at making the legislative process more vibrant. I tried my best to be impartial, rising above party sentiments and this also led to accusations of being too liberal towards the opposition, he noted wryly.
The reference was, apparently, to an unsavoury episode that took place earlier this year when the chief minister blew a fuse on the floor of the House over the speaker allowing discussion on an issue of prohibition violation again and again despite it being a matter of investigation. The RJD, which now shares power with Kumar’s JD(U) but was then in the opposition, had stalled proceedings of the House for a couple of days over the insult to the Chair.
In his speech, Sinha counted among his achievements centenary celebrations of the assembly building which were attended by the then President Ram Nath Kovind last year and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month. Sinha, who had formerly served as a minister in Nitish Kumar’s cabinet, ended on a poetic note, quoting a famous verse of late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that implies in a rough translation let us not lose sight of the goal mistaking a stopover for the destination, let us not forget the future obsessing over the present, come, let us light a lamp.