The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janta Dal (United) (JD(U)) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the strong allies of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) until they contested the Lok Sabha polls together winning 39 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar last year are now in the race to win power in Bihar. Chirag Paswan, the LJP Leader and son of the Founder of LJP, Ram Vilas Paswan, has been publicly badmouthing and criticising the State Chief Minister and JD(U) chief, Nitish Kumar, since the commencement of this year and finally decided to break ties with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on October 4.
The BJP offered full support to the leader in light of their BJP-LJP treaty. Chirag promised to back the BJP in a post-polls scenario and also declared to field his party candidates against the JD(U) which further fanned speculation that the two hand-in-hand parties (BJP-LJP) were trying to sweep Nitish under the rug.
When on October 8, Chirag’s father and Union minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, passed away, Chirag took over his father’s position. The leader also promised to contest at least 143 seats of the total 243 seats in the state election. If that happens to be the case, he may end up contesting at least 21 seats against the BJP as well, considering that the JD(U) is only contesting 122 seats as part of the seat-sharing agreement. In early October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself said, “In fact, his (Chirag Paswan) attempts to stop Nitish are a challenge to the authority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, as they have declared Nitish the leader of the NDA alliance in Bihar.”
The change in BJP’s stand is quite obvious, from backing Chirag to retrieving their support and betting solely on Nitish Kumar. Although, initially, it looked like Chirag would fade in the background but he hasn’t. By his development focused strategy, he is able to hold the limelight above him.
In a recent tweet, the LJP leader wrote, “Bihar was infamous in the first 15 years (of the last 30 years) and was in a bad state in the next 15. But with your blessings, we have to make a Nitish-free government which is #Bihar1stBihari1st. LJP is contesting on more seats than JD(U). LJP will win more seats than JD(U) and will form a BJP-LJP government.” ending the tweet with #ImpossibleNitish.
Even after such vile verbal attacks, the BJP has only issued a few mild rebukes and has made no efforts to take strict action against the LJP Leader. Had it been the rival parties like Congress or the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the BJP doesn’t seem to have spared them. BJP could have filed a complaint to the Election Commission or take any other equally serious steps. However, the saffron party restrained itself from making any such steps. This is building speculations in the minds of BJP supporters and Followers that there may be something cooking up between BJP and LJP.
Tejashwi Yadav led opposition’s Vice president, Shivanand Tiwari, reacted, “How can anyone stop him (Chirag) from taking the PM’s name? Moreover, the BJP leaders themselves are seen cosying up to the LJP president.” RJD leader and former Dy. Chief Minister of Bihar, Tejashwi, also accused the Prime Minister of skipping actual issues like corruption, jobs and the migrant crisis during his speech today in response to the PM calling him ‘Jungle Raj ka Yuvraj.’
In his recent speech, PM Modi had made a veiled attack on Tejashwi by terming him “Yovraj of Jungle Raj”. “People of Bihar do not keep any expectations from the “Yuvraj Of Jungle Raj” (Crown prince of the jungle raj) owing to their previous track record,”. “He ought to be evaluated on the basis of a track record about which the people know much better than I do.” PM Modi had added in his speech.
“Forget about jobs in the public sector. Even private companies giving jobs will flee. Companies will shut down their offices and run away. Extortion calls will be made by those patronised by the party which has a copyright over kidnappings.” PM Modi took a jibe at RJD’s tainted period of ruling Bihar for 15 years. Lalu Prasad Yadav, the erstwhile Chief of RJD and father of Tejashwi Yadav was handcuffed and jailed in 2018 under corruption charges. In Lalu’s absence, Tejashwi is spearheading the battle against the rival parties like BJP, JD(U) and LJP.
“He is the country’s Prime Minister, he can say anything, and I don’t want to react to that. But he came to Bihar, he could have spoken about a special package, unemployment, more important issues.” said Tejashwi Yadav in the aftermath of PM Modi’s visit to Bihar for addressing a public rally. “It is the world’s biggest party (BJP), they are using 30 helicopters…if their PM talks like this, and the public knows everything. But he should have spoken on issues like poverty, factories, farmers, unemployment.” He continued.
The PM openly warned the people at a rally in Muzaffarpur, and compared being under Lalu’s rule with returning to darkness.