Election preparations for the Bihar elections have begun across the state, and all parties are gearing up to campaign with fervour in the backdrop of a global pandemic. With Coronavirus not abetting any sooner, the old conventional mega rallies of parties might be a thing of the past. But BJP has wasted no time and blown the bugle of election by holding a virtual rally.
In a virtual rally on Sunday, the Union Minister Amit Shah announced that the NDA would win by a two-third majority under Nitish Kumar’s leadership in the next assembly election. Yes, Amit Shah has iterated that the alliance will be spearheaded by Nitish Kumar and that he will be the CM candidate for the Vidhan Sabha elections.
There are elections in Bihar in the coming days, I believe that under Nitish Kumar ji's leadership NDA will form the government with 2/3rd majority but this isn't the time for politics. We all should fight #COVID19 under Modi ji's leadership: Home Minister Amit Shah pic.twitter.com/XgoXTmjjwm
— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2020
Only time will tell how disastrous or hara-kiri this step will prove for the BJP, but looking at Nitish Kumar’s dipping popularity, growing anti-incumbency owning to his pathetic administration and the general consensus that he has let the people of the state down—projecting Nitish as a CM is surely going to haunt BJP in the grander scheme of things.
Showing faith in an alliance partner is a trait BJP is well-known for but look how Maharashtra turned out. A party cannot compromise on its core values and remain in an alliance to keep up the appearances. Nitish Kumar is a dead-weight and keeping ties with him is spelling doom for BJP”s own fortunes.
BJP’s core vote bank that voted en masse for it in the last two Lok Sabha elections will feel that siding with a defeatist leader like Nitish Kumar is a sign of weakness. The migrant workers who have returned to Bihar in swathes are already furious at Nitish Kumar for giving them a cold shoulder and altogether rejecting them.
The inefficient handling of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state and the consequent migrant crisis has become a huge political issue that ultimately is going to make a huge impact on the state of Bihar in the upcoming Assembly polls—as the Nitish Kumar government seems altogether apathetic towards the cause of incoming migrants and the long ailing socio-economic structure of the state.
Bihar lacks a strong opposition but even in the absence of it, Nitish Kumar has been so proficient in his poor administration that the issue of Coronavirus and the plight of migrant workers has started emerging as a major poll plank.
To further pile on the misery of listless Bihar government, Bihar’s Additional Director General (Law & Order) Amit Kumar on May 29, wrote a letter to the Superintendents of Police of all districts, alerting them about a possible hike in crime rate in the coming days because over 40 lakh migrant workers had returned to the state.
In the letter, the ADG had said that since there were few opportunities for employment for the returning migrants they are likely to resort to criminal activities to sustain their families. The moment the letter came out in the open, the Bihar government was left red-faced and it started scurrying around to conceal the letter. The ADG was forced to withdraw the letter on June 4 but the damage was already done by then.
The letter exposed the fallacies of the Nitish Kumar government. The weak opposition is still an opposition and Rashtriya Janta Dal Leader Tejaswi Yadav lapped on to the opportunity to take down Nitish Kumar. While addressing a press conference in Patna. Lalu Yadav’s son Tejaswi Yadav lashed out at CM Nitish Kumar and tore a copy of the controversial letter in front of the media.
“Does Nitish Kumar think that all the migrant workers returning to Bihar are criminals? How can the government even write such a letter? Nitish Kumar should apologize for this,” demanded Tejaswi Yadav.
The opposition has taken this opportunity with both hands and the moment the perception builds around that JDU supported by BJP is dubbing the migrant workers’ population in a negative light as criminals, the votes would shift instantaneously.
Nothing has changed much under ‘Sushan Babu’ from what it was under Lalu Prasad Yadav’s infamous ‘Jungle raj’. The socio-economic disparities still exist, and on the contrary, continue to grow and the migrant laborers seem to be the hard-hit like always.
The Biharis all around have now started questioning CM Nitish Kumar, asking him what difference he has made in the last 15 years as the state CM and why they should suffer for his gross incompetence.
The strong vicious cycle of corruption and lack of political will is keeping the state down. And as a result, BJP which enjoys goodwill in the state is losing the plot.
Most Biharis who traditionally vote for NDA do not want to see Nitish Kumar sworn as the Chief Minister again and if BJP goes with Nitish which by the looks of the virtual rally is all but ascertained, then not even a strong Modi-wave might save the day for BJP. The goodwill and credibility BJP has enjoyed in Bihar might slip away and that would be more disastrous than losing an election.