Even as RJD chief Lalu Prasad is undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, his family members, particularly his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav, are leaving no chance to corner Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his government in Bihar.
The message is clear, RJD has selected Kumar as its main target to dent his image as much as possible and leave him perplexed about how to wriggle out of the situation when his main opponent in the state Tejashwi Yadav is much junior, both in terms of age and political experience.
Kumar, who had initially ignored Tejashwi’s diatribe against him, carried out through the latter`s Twitter and Facebook accounts mainly, has now started retorting and attacking Lalu’s son, albeit indirectly.
Undeterred by the CM’s counterattack, RJD has only sharpened its offensive against him.
Even when Union Minister Ashwani Choubey`s son Arjit Shashwat was recently released from jail in connection with fomenting communal trouble at Nathnagar in Bhagalpur district during Ramnavami festival, RJD found it more prudent to attack Nitish Kumar rather than cornering the Union Minister on the issue.
RJD knows very well that if Kumar’s image is battered under its consistent hammering, the party would not be able to take revenge on him for breaking the grand alliance but it would also prop up Tejashwi as the main contender to power in 2020 Bihar Assembly election.
With Lalu’s son growing both in stature and maturity, RJD is hopeful of Tejaswi emerging as the formidable candidate for the post of Chief Minister during the state election.
It is widely expected that RJD would start attacking BJP relentlessly once the election to Lok Sabha draws closer.
RJD would find it more appropriate to pick up the issue of communalism to target BJP in a national election rather than keep cornering the CM aggressively.
RJD also finds it more convenient to attack a leader of JD(U) instead of attacking a national party like BJP, as it helps the former draw emotional chord with its vote bank more convincingly when RJD chief Prasad is under judicial custody following his conviction in yet another case of infamous fodder scam.
CM Kumar is also reportedly apprehensively of the repeat of communal flareups even on a larger scale in run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha election. BJP has apparently started setting the mood for it by playing its Hindutva card as Union Minister`s son Arjit Shashwat after his release argued that raising slogans like ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ was not a crime. He even accused some officials in Bhagalpur district administration of misleading the government in connivance with Congress and RJD leaders.
It all shows that BJP might accelerate its efforts to boost its chances in the state in the next Lok Sabha election by stirring up religious sentiments of common people, a situation much to the discomfort of Chief Minister.
Kumar, who has built up his image as ‘Sushashan Babu’ will have to walk a tightrope as he has to ensure that rule of law prevails in the state when his stature of being one of the best chief ministers of the country is under threat.
Even Tejashwi’s mother and former chief Minister Rabri Devi is not lagging behind in attacking CM Kumar consistently, as she raises the issue of withdrawal of security personnel.
Though Kumar restored the security cover to its earlier level, Rabri Devi has demanded a detailed information from him on the issue of withdrawal of security guards from her residence and the officers responsible for it.
In a strongly worded letter to the Chief Minister, Rabri Devi said that in the changed political and social atmosphere, anti-socials and fundamentalist forces were rearing up their heads and security threat to her and her family members had increased manifold.