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Published On: Mon, Oct 26th, 2020

Bihar: Signs That BJP Is Distancing Itself From Nitish Kumar

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modibanner-mainPATNA: They are fighting the Bihar election together, but on posters and ads put out by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP, their alliance is in the small print.
The BJP’s posters featuring a solo image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have provoked opposition jibes at the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Similarly, Nitish Kumar’s ads in newspapers do not mention either PM Modi or the BJP.

Full-page BJP ads and posters that appeared on Saturday said: “BJP hai toh bharosa hai (where there is BJP, there is trust).” With single billing to PM Modi, the ad only talked about the BJP’s election promises – free Covid vaccine for all in Bihar and 19 lakh job opportunities.
Political rivals like Chirag Paswan and Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) called it proof that even the BJP acknowledged how unpopular Nitish Kumar has become and that the ruling party had taken a conscious decision to drop him from its ads.
“It seems Nitish Kumar’s need for proof does not end,” sneered Chirag Paswan, who is contesting separately from the NDA and has vowed to defeat Nitish Kumar even though he remains loyal to the BJP. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) also tweeted an image of the ad and taunted: “Nitish-ji should be grateful to the BJP for providing him a full-page ad and praman patra and he should be as loyal to the NDA coalition as the BJP is.”
The RJD tweeted images of the same ad with the comment: “Bihar will vote for a Chief Minister not a Prime Minister.”Sources in the BJP point out that Nitish Kumar was the first to decide not to share space with its leaders in his ads. An advertisement released on the day he was sharing the dais with PM Modi did not have any image but his own, they say.
The ad showcased the Chief Minister and his “Saat Nishchay (seven resolves)” and used the catchphrase “Swavalambi Bihar” – his take on the Prime Minister’s “Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bharat”.

Nitish Kumar’s critics seized the ads, calling them a sign of discord between the Chief Minister and PM Modi. Interestingly, in 2010, when during a BJP national executive in Patna, an ad featuring him with Narendra Modi surfaced in Gujarat, a furious Nitish Kumar had lodged an FIR and sent a team to investigate.
The image was from their joint rally in the 2009 parliamentary election. In the years after that, Nitish Kumar distanced himself from PM Modi and even ended his ties with the BJP in 2013, months before the 2014 national election. Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA only three years later, after dumping the RJD and Congress, and made public declarations in support of PM Modi.

Meanwhile,  Actor turned politician and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha on Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s political rallies in Bihar election campaign have been lacklustre and are not winning praise from the public.
“People are looking for a change and I see it happening. PM Modi`s tour is lacklustre and he is not gaining support and nobody is praising him.
He is speaking about China here (Bihar) and outside he doesn`t even utter China`s name. In Bihar, he should talk about poverty, unemployment, low per capita income and why farmer income is low. Many migrants came by foot and suffered a lot. The government claims that they don`t have any data regarding migration and they are not able to say anything in Bihar,” Sinha said.
he  praised Tejashwi Yadav`s leadership capability. Said “Tejashwi`s leadership is strong. I always backed Tejashwi earlier as well but not because he is Lalu Yadav`s son but because he has the right political training and I see the youth here should be led by Tejashwi.
Sinha took a swipe at Bharatiya Janta Party`s 19 lakh job promise in its manifesto and said, “Now there is a catch. They are saying 19 lakh jobs are on offer but if they had, then why they never gave it earlier? Now if they give jobs then where will they get money from? Many jobs in various sectors are pending and with first cabinet meeting Mahagathbandhan will give it.”
Shatrughan Sinha`s son Luv Sinha is contesting on Congress party ticket from Patna`s Bankipore seat which is considered a BJP`s stronghold. He has been pitted against BJP`s three-time MLA Nitin Navin. Bankipore Assembly seat comes under the Patna Sahib constituency that elected Shatrughan Sinha twice in 2009 and 2014 when he was in the BJP.
The Assembly elections in Bihar for 243 seats are to be held in three phases beginning October 28 and results will be declared on November 10.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs).

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