Karpoori Thakur won the Bihar Assembly elections for the first time in 1952 and became an MLA at the age of just 28.
There have been such rare people in Indian politics, who are examples for the people even today. One of them was former Chief Minister of Bihar Karpoori Thakur, to whom the Central Government has announced to give Bharat Ratna. Everyone knows how strict the security of Chief Ministers is these days, but imagine that a Chief Minister goes on a bike to meet some foreign journalists and people keep stopping on the way. But it is true.
Karpoori Thakur was so simple. He used to listen to the complaints of common people with the same intensity with which he used to complete any important work of the state. That is why he is also called Jannayak. Let us know some interesting stories related to his life, the public leader who said goodbye to the world 35 years ago and now he will get Bharat Ratna.
There is a village Pitaunjhiya in Samastipur district of Bihar, which is now called Karpoori village. Karpoori Thakur was born on 24 January 1924 in a barber family of this village. When he grew up, he joined politics and opened a front against Congress which remained open throughout his life. He was against the policies of Congress. Was candid. Didn’t keep anything in mind. There came a time when Indira Gandhi wanted to arrest him during the Emergency but could not succeed.
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Became CM twice but could not complete his tenure
Karpoori Thakur won the Bihar Assembly elections for the first time in 1952 and became an MLA at the age of just 28. After this, as long as he was alive, he remained present as a member in some house of democracy. He held power in Bihar as Chief Minister twice between 1970 and 1979. He became the Chief Minister for the first time on 22 December 1970, but his government lasted only for 163 days. After the victory of the Janata Party in 1977, he again became the CM, but even then his tenure lasted for less than two years.
House, land and car, nothing
He was also the leader of opposition in Bihar Assembly. Despite this, there was no house, car and land. This honesty in politics made him a public leader. As much as Karpoori Thakur was conscious about the development of the backward sections of the society, he was equally against nepotism in politics. That is why as long as he was alive, no member of his family could enter politics. He said goodbye to the world on 17 February 1988, when he was only 64 years old.
Used to listen to problems sitting on a broken bench
Nihora Prasad was a former member of Bihar State Backward Commission. He has shared his memoirs about Karpoori Thakuri. In this he says that as Chief Minister, Karpoori Thakur would sit at the government residence in Patna from 7.30 in the morning to listen to the problems of the people. He used to sit on a broken bench and the table in front was also broken at many places, which had no effect on him.
He used to listen very attentively to the people coming from every corner of Bihar. Many of them were without slippers and many had dirty clothes. He would listen to the problems of the people and give orders to the officers to solve them. People did not go to him even with wrong work. Bihar had formed the opinion that Thakur would not allow any work falling within the scope of rules and regulations to be stopped and would not allow anything other than this to happen.
Went to hotel by bike
Another story is very famous. He called Nihora Prasad at six in the morning. Next day when he reached CM residence at the appointed time, Karpoori Thakur said let’s go. Till then the CM’s car had not arrived. Therefore, he rode on Nihora Prasad’s motorcycle. During this, his foot also got scratched. After sitting on the motorcycle, he asked Nihora Prasad to go to Bailey Road. Now whoever would see the Chief Minister going on a bike on the way would stop. Some saluted and others stood in astonishment.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister told Nihora Prasad that some foreign journalists have come to meet him and have been accommodated in a hotel. He was asked to come and meet me at the hotel in the morning. Therefore, to reach on time, one had to resort to bike.
Lalu had refused to give the jeep
Even though today the stars of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad are at their peak in Bihar, at one time both of them were disciples of Karpoori Thakur. Despite this, Lalu had once refused to give his jeep to Karpoori Thakur. Journalist Anuranjan Jha has mentioned this in his book Gandhi Maidan: Bluff of Social Justice.
He writes that when Lalu became MP for the first time, he had bought a second hand jeep. At that time Karpoori Thakur used to be the leader of opposition in Bihar Assembly. Once he was ill and had to go for important work. In such a situation, a message was sent to Lalu that if possible, drop him in your jeep. It is said that on the leaflet on which Karpoori Thakur had sent the message, Lalu had written that there was no oil in the jeep.
Old socialist leaders have many stories about Karpoori Thakur. Now, after the latest decision of the Government of India to give Bharat Ratna, it is possible that some more interesting stories of his simplicity may come to light.
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