Union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to Bihar will be to “stoke communal tension” and the entire country knows this, Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said today, echoing his alliance partner Janata Dal United. While Mr Yadav has been a staunch critic of the BJP, this was the first time he made such a strong statement about the Union home minister, who is also the BJP’s chief strategist.
As part of the BJP’s new strategy for Bihar, Amit Shah is expected to visit the state’s Seemanchal region on September 23-24. He is likely to hold a rally in Purnia district on September 23 and organisational meetings in Kishanganj the next day.
“Amit Shah will come and across the country and in Bihar, he will try to spoil communal harmony. The people of Bihar are careful. He will make no headway,” JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan had said, dismissing the BJP plans.
Asked about the comment today, Tejashwi Yadav said, “Why only the JD(U)? The entire Bihar knows what’s his (Amit Shah’s) real purpose. It needs no saying. The moment you take his name, the entire country starts talking about his work”.
— NDTV India (@ndtvindia) September 20, 2022
With Nitish Kumar ending the alliance with the BJP, the party has been trying to formulate a new strategy for the state in view of the 2024 general elections.
In 2019, the NDA had won 39 of the 40 seats from the state. But 16 of those were won by Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United and six by the Lok Janshakti Party.
But this time with the JD(U) in the opposition camp and LJP split, with Chirag Paswan — the leader of one faction — hugely upset with the BJP, the politically isolated party is hard put to devise a workable plan. For now, the idea is to find a face that can challenge Nitish Kumar and start off with a series of “pol khol (unmask) Nitish Kumar” rallies across the state.
Mr Kumar, meanwhile, has been making dire predictions about his erstwhile alliance partners.
Declaring that the Grand Alliance will mop up the state’s 40 parliamentary seats in 2024, he said the BJP “started out with two seats and will be back there soon”.