New Delhi: Days after ditching the BJP and forming the Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar with support from RJD, Left parties and Congress, Nitish Kumar is now trying to isolate the saffron party at the Centre as well by taking along Opposition parties.
Although Pashupati Paras, the younger brother of late Ram Vilas Paswan, is a minister at Centre, his Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party has to prove its strength amidst the differences with his nephew Chirag Paswan.
Considered as a clever politician, Nitish understands the role of Congress in the alliance formed against the BJP, so unlike Mamta Banerjee, K. Chandrashekhar Rao and Arvind Kejriwal, he wants the Congress to play an important role in the fight against the BJP. If Nitish succeeds in this campaign, then surely it will increase the troubles for the BJP.
On the other hand, the BJP, with continues attack on Nitish, is trying tarnish the latter’s image and weaken his campaign. Under this strategy, BJP has started targeting Nitish Kumar from Bihar to Delhi.
Bihar BJP leaders as well as Central ministers have intensified their attack on Nitish.
Raising questions on Nitish’s campaign to unite the opposition parties, BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi has said, “Do you find it logical that the number three party (JDU) in Bihar is talking about the First Front at the national level.”
Trivedi asserted that Nitish is doing all this exercise just to prove his political status.
Similarly, Union Minister Giriraj Singh has said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of Bihar made Nitish Kumar the Chief Minister and he betrayed Modi ji and the public, how such deceitful ambitious person will give confidence to those opportunists who already have the ambitions of becoming PM.”
Former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also took a dig at Nitish, saying, “Nitish Kumar, a disciple of Ram Manohar Lohia, who talks about non-Congressism, is seen standing with the same Congress in personal ambition and greed for the chair.”
The BJP has prepared its strategy to sabotage Nitish’s campaign both in the state and at the national level. Soon after the formation of the Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar, the saffron party deployed its Bihar-based Central ministers, MPs and senior leaders across districts for communicating with the common voters, party workers and civil society people.
Taking lessons from the Nitish episode, the BJP has now decided that it will no longer form an alliance with any major political party in Bihar.
Speaking to IANS, a BJP leader said that now on the lines of Uttar Pradesh, the party is trying to increase its base by strengthening its organisation in the entire state. The party will keep the caste, social and regional equations in mind while forming alliance with some small regional parties in the state.
BJP leader Amit Shah and the party president J.P. Nadda had recently held a meeting with Bihar BJP core group leaders, explaining the party’s strategy. The leaders have been told the party will be aiming to win over 35 seats in the state in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Only time will tell whether Nitish would succeed in bringing all the opposition parties on one platform against the BJP at the national level or not, but against these efforts of Nitish, the BJP has prepared its policy.
Apart from Bihar, the BJP has also finalised a special ‘Mission 144’ strategy at the national level.
Under, Mission 144, a special strategy has been drawn for 144 Lok Sabha seats in different states on which BJP’s candidate stood second or third in the last election or on which BJP had won at some point.
The saffron party has set a target of winning 50 per cent of these 144 seats i.e. at least 72 seats. Most of these seats are from the states ruled by opposition parties, where the BJP is not very strong.
BJP’s strategy is very clear — where it is strong, it should fight more strongly, and where it is weak try to win as many seats as possible.
Interestingly, the day when Nitish was meeting opposition leaders, on the very same day, Amit Shah and J.P. Nadda were finalizing the ‘Mission 144’ strategy at party headquarters in the national capital.