With the BJP “willing to go to any extent” in the high-stakes Bihar elections, the party is banking on the “increasing disenchantment against the state government on law and order issues, still-intact public sentiments against Lalu Prasad and the growing popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the Muslims,” to brighten its electoral prospects.
The BJP will be fighting the election with its existing allies, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and Ramvilas Paswan’s Lok Jan Shakti Party. The BJP is yet to take a final decision on former chief minister Jitan Ram Majhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha. “The party’s slogan will be “Jai Jai Bihar, Bhajpa Sarkar”, said senior party leader Shahnawaz Hussain.
Sources said the party has high stakes in Bihar elections because it cannot “afford to lose” another election after Delhi debacle. “We will have to move with a killer instinct. We will go to any extent to win the state,” said a party leader.
BJP leaders assess that the increasing law and order issues would damage Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) government’s prospects in the election. “Also the anti-Lalu votes, which had helped Kumar in the last two wins, will not be made into pro-Lalu votes when both the parties get together. The third factor which will work in our advantage will be improving image of PM Modi among the Muslims,” said the BJP leader. He said the successful evacuation of Indians from Iraq and Yemen have created a tremendous goodwill for the government among minorities in Bihar,” he added.
On Thursday, addressing reporters in party headquarters, Hussain accused Kumar of taking politics to a “new low” in the state by deploying policemen to “guard” fruit-laden trees at the residence of his predecessor Jitan Ram Manjhi instead of improving law and order.
“Under Nitish Kumar sans BJP, it is Jungle raj-2 in Bihar. Law and order situation is worsening day-by-day. But Nitish is losing weight worrying more about aam (mangoes) than aam aadmi (the common man). Crime is on the rise with dacoities and murders becoming commonplace, ‘Jungle Raj’ is being established in Bihar where all crime records are broken,” Hussain, national spokesperson said.
According to Hussain, the emergence of a “new political alignment” is responsible for the deteriorating law and order.