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Published On: Fri, Aug 14th, 2020

Devendra Fadnavis likely to play ‘active role’ in Bihar polls

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Devendra-Fadnavis-_aNI-780x470NEW DELHI : Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been tasked by the BJP to play a big role in the Bihar election, due later this year.
Devendra Fadnavis joined a core group meeting of the BJP in Bihar via video link from Mumbai yesterday, which signed that he would play a crucial role in the state election.
The move comes at a time when Bihar is witnessing a raging debate on the Uddhav Thackeray government’s refusal to transfer actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), amid questions being raised on the Mumbai police probe.
Many have linked this move to the raging controversy over the Sushant Singh Rajput death and the tussle between Bihar and Maharashtra over the investigation. The 34-year-old actor’s death has taken a political turn in Bihar, his home state. Parties both in the Nitish Kumar-led government and the opposition have called for a CBI investigation into the death of “a promising young boy from Bihar”.
The Maharashtra government, however, contests Bihar’s jurisdiction. Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena has accused ally-turned-rival BJP of bringing politics into the actor’s death because of the elections.
Mr Fadnavis has been at the forefront of BJP attacks on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya. The BJP alleges the Thackerays are blocking proper investigations.
“The investigation into the death of Sushant Singh Rajput is likely to be a major issue in the upcoming elections and not only BJP, but many parties have been pressing for a CBI enquiry into the matter. Fadnavis has been highlighting this issue and has kept the Maharashtra government on its toes,” a second party leader said on condition of anonymity.

The Centre has already handed over the case to the CBI following recommendations by the Nitish Kumar government on the basis of an FIR lodged by the actor’s father in Patna.

These polls are crucial for the BJP as they come after a series of losses in state elections since 2018. The party lost the 2019 Jharkhand and 2020 Delhi elections too, and was unable to form the government in Maharashtra despite emerging as the single-largest party.
The Bihar election is also important for the party as, despite being in an alliance with the JD(U), it has lately tried to position itself as the leading partner, with Union Home Minister Amit Shah leading from the front. He held a virtual rally too in June.
“We will now start our block-level meeting as part of our preparation for the elections. We already had our district-level meetings with senior BJP leader Bhupender Yadav. We have also had meetings with intellectuals and experts too,” said Sanjay Jaiswal, state president of Bihar BJP.
According to a senior BJP leader, Fadnavis attended the core committee meeting of the BJP’s Bihar unit Thursday through video conference. “He will definitely play an active and crucial role in the upcoming Bihar elections.
He is likely to be made election in-charge or will be given a similar responsibility for Bihar elections in the coming few days,” said the leader who didn’t wish to be named. BJP sources say Mr Fadnavis’s role has not been decided yet, though there is speculation he may be made campaign in-charge in Bihar.
The core committee of the BJP in Bihar includes Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Bihar BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal, and Union Minister for State (MoS) for Home Nityanand Rai and Bihar BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav. Bhupendra Yadav was campaign in charge for the BJP in the Maharashtra election last year.
A source pointed out that with the death of the Bollywood actor becoming a major issue in the state and many BJP leaders pressing for a CBI inquiry expressing lack of confidence in the Maharashtra police, Fadnavis is the one who has been steering the campaign.
According to sources, the party’s central leadership has instructed Bihar leaders that Mr Fadnavis be looped in on information related to the Bihar election campaign. He will also participate in every important meeting related to the polls.






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