According to a Sunday Guardian report, the state of Bihar could finally get a BJP Chief Minister. This could prove transformational for the state by invoking the ‘Yogi model’. Meanwhile, incumbent CM Nitish Kumar could move to the Rajya Sabha.
Who can replace Nitish Kumar?
Sunday Guardian has predicted that Nitish could move to the Rajya Sabha, when six Rajya Sabha seats from Bihar fall vacant in July.
Now, two men in the BJP could replace him- Union Minister of Home (State) Nityanand Rai or Union Minister Giriraj Singh.
Rai is a Yadav and could help the BJP in further consolidating itself in the state by bringing in a Yadav face. On the other hand, if the party accepts the demand of the forward caste lobby, Giriraj Singh could become the new Bihar CM.
Within the BJP circles, there is a general sentiment that after the Bihar Assembly polls in 2020, in which the JDU could only win 43 seats while the BJP won 74, Nitish Kumar’s appointment as the Chief Minister wasn’t meant to be a “permanent fixture”.
Nitish Kumar’s Rajya Sabha dream
And it makes sense to bring in a new face. Remember, Kumar is 71 years old. He got elected to the Lok Sabha six times and took oath as the Bihar CM a record six times. Except for a brief hiatus, Nitish Kumar has been the Chief Minister of Bihar since November 2005. In such a case, anti-incumbency can become a strong factor.
Recently, Kumar talked to the media in his Assembly chamber and said that his wish to go to the Rajya Sabha hadn’t yet been fulfilled. This kicked off the speculation that Nitish may opt to move to the Rajya Sabha and hand over the CM chair to BJP, after a total of 17 years in power.
Even during a public rally ahead of the 2020 polls, Kumar had got emotional and had said that the 2020 elections would be his last. If that is the case, then the BJP-led NDA in Bihar will have to find a new CM face in 2025 anyway. So, why not find a new face right now, keep him in power for three years and then go to polls from a position of strength?
The Yogi model
Meanwhile, BJP leaders in Bihar too have made their intentions clear. After the UP Assembly election results, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Tarkishore Prasad said that the “Yogi model” of administration was needed in Bihar for better administration.
The Home Department in Bihar is presently helmed by Kumar himself. So, there was a clear hint at bringing in a BJP leader.
The same sentiment has also been echoed by Mithilesh Kumar, BJP MLA from Sitamarhi, Vinay Bihari, BJP MLA from Lauriya, Haribhushan Thakur Bachoul, BJP MLA from Bisfi.
Recently, Vinay Bihari said that the “BJP was in the role of an ‘Inspector’ but when the next (Assembly) session convenes, it will be in the role of Superintendent of Police.”
BJP now understands that this is the time to root for the CM post and back one of its leaders to replace Nitish Kumar at the top post. Bihar is therefore moving towards a new era with a BJP Chief Minister and an effective governance model based on the ‘Yogi model’ in Uttar Pradesh.