After Uttar Pradesh, now Bihar is on BJP’s radar

DHEERAJ KUMAR
Sunday, 11 June 2017

BJP, which was dwarfed by two regional parties – RJD and JD(U) in 2015 Bihar Assembly election has always been trying hard to revive its fortune in the state, known for its choppy political waters.

So now when the party is working on its various strategies to regain its lost ground in the state, the party is exploring other options too. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath`s proposed visit to Bihar is looked through the same prism.

BJP, which was dwarfed by two regional parties – RJD and JD(U) in 2015 Bihar Assembly election has always been trying hard to revive its fortune in the state, known for its choppy political waters.

So now when the party is working on its various strategies to regain its lost ground in the state, the party is exploring other options too. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath`s proposed visit to Bihar is looked through the same prism.

BJP’s new poster boy, Adityanath’s visit to Bihar is largely perceived as the party’s stratagem to re-create a launch pad for the party when the party is pushing its Hindutva politics hard before the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

It is yet to be fully grasped whether UP’s experiment could be successfully replicated in Bihar too but BJP would be tempted to do so as it had fetched BJP high dividends in the UP election.

The route of BJP in the last Bihar Assembly election was also perceived as a rejection of the party`s Hindutva card, notwithstanding the fact that the saffron party had tried to play it to the hilt by creating a hype on beef.

It would be interesting to see how Yogi’s style of politics would help BJP regain its lost ground when Bihar is perhaps the most caste-ridden state of the country.

Yogi Adityanath would pay a day’s visit to Bihar on June 15. His visit reflects BJP’s resolve to take the benefit from his charisma as a strong Hindu ideologue and also a capable administrator, an image which somehow dented due to the law-and-order problems in certain pockets of his state.

The UP CM would address a rally in Darbhanga on June 15, albeit his other public meeting at the historic Gandhi Maidan in the state capital was cancelled.

BJP could not depend on the achievements of the Centre and apparently ‘undiminished’ charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi alone for its revival in the state, so the party is not averse to the idea of playing the Hindutva card, even in the subdued form and also consolidate its social base.

The verbal duel between leaders of RJD and JD (U) on several issues including demonetisation and more recently on the reliability of EVMs gave the party a strong reason to hope for re-surging itself by fishing in troubled waters.

Despite bickering between two major constituents, their internal strife never reached a point when one could guess that they are going to part ways as both of them have their own compulsions to remain together.

A series of revelations made by former Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader against RJD Chief Lalu Prasad and his sons – Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav and Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav and daughter and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharati also failed to work to the full advantage of the party.

Until either of Prasad’s sons is charge sheeted in any of the alleged scams, the grand alliance is not going to face rough weather, which could work to the advantage of BJP.

The Income Tax Department has already issued summons to Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar, in connection with its probe into a Rs 1,000-crore alleged benami land deal and a tax evasion case.

But it is unlikely to have any impact on the grand alliance government even if Bharti faces troubles in the case ahead.

BJP knows very well that instead of hoping for a return of Nitish Kumar to NDA for bolstering its chances in future elections in the state, it is better to depend on its own strength. BJP in its attempt to consolidate its social base has also roped in former Minister and senior JD(U) leader Rakesh Kumar alias Samrat Choudhary.  Choudhary, son of an influential backward caste leader and former Minister Shakuni Choudhary was suspended from JD (U) for alleged anti-party activities.

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