Sushil Modi, the senior BJP leader from Bihar who was sidelined by the party from the state politics because his presence was proving a net loss to the party, is yet again proving to be a liability. And this time, it is with his foolhardy tweets amid the ongoing election in West Bengal. His recent tweet over a possible change in the Bengal regime with BJP coming to power sends all kinds of the wrong message to the voters as well as the people of Bihar.
Sushil Modi tweeted that if BJP comes to power in West Bengal, lakhs of people from Bihar can get a job there. The tweet gives an impression that Bihar has accepted cheap labour export as its destiny and has no plans to set up factories and generate employment at home.
पड़ोसी राज्य में बदलाव होने से बिहार के विकास में मदद मिलेगी और बिहारी मूल के लाखों लोगों को वहां रोजगार के नये अवसर मिलेंगे।
— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) April 11, 2021
At a time when states like Uttar Pradesh are aiming to become ‘Aatmanirbhar’ with employment generation within the state, the government of Bihar has not even changed the perception about the socio-economic direction of the state, forget the change in policies. In the last one and a half-decade with the duo of Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi running the state government, Bihar has focused on exporting the labour and using the revenue generated from the tax collection and grant from the centre to deliver welfare.
This helped Nitish Kumar to come to power successively because a good number of people were elevated from poverty, but the state remained poor as even though the welfarist approach could bring people out of poverty, it could never make them rich. As a result, it is hard to establish industries in Bihar despite the fact that the state accounts for around 8 per cent of the country’s population.
This defeatist approach at a time when migration is becoming tougher due to the spread of the coronavirus brings the morale of the people of Bihar down. And, the duo of Sushil Modi and Nitish Kumar, is pursuing the same approach for the last one and a half-decade.
Another way in which such tweets shall do immediate harm to BJP’s interest in the West Bengal Assembly Election 2021, is the fear of the migrant takeover of Bengal. This is also supported by the fact that Mamata Banerjee is already playing the sub-nationalism card and spreading the fear that Hindi speaking North Indians will take over Bengal if BJP comes to power.
The fear of cultural takeover of West Bengal (especially of the Western region of the state which shares borders with the Eastern part of Bihar), will harm the interest of the party in the region where it performed exceptionally well in the last general election and is expected to perform well in the current polls, too.
Moreover, in the city of Kolkata, from where the people are already fleeing to other parts of the country because there are no jobs, Sushil Modi’s tweet will bring the same kind of resentment that is often seen in Mumbai. The people of Kolkata already blame the North Indians for taking over low paying jobs and bringing the wages down and the tweet can be used by TMC leaders to create fear among the Bengali people that if BJP comes to power, the people from Bihar will influx the city with cheap labour and it will wreck the job opportunities for the locals.
Therefore, the tweet by Sushil Modi will not only harm the interest of BJP in the upcoming phases of Bengal polls but will also damage Bihar’s political economy and reputation. Sushil Modi wants Bihar to follow the same approach to political economy that kept the state poor despite one and a half-decade of a stable government.
Sushil Modi has thus, become a liability for BJP and needs to be thrown into the Margdarshak Mandal as soon as possible or the party can even get rid of him, just as it did with Yashwant Sinha.