Time to counter Nitish’s Vikas Yatra: party to Laluhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/time-to-counter-nitishs-vikas-yatra-party-to-lalu/

Time to counter Nitish’s Vikas Yatra: party to Lalu

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s Vikas Yatra ahead of the Lok Sabha polls has set the alarm bells ringing in the opposition RJD...

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s Vikas Yatra ahead of the Lok Sabha polls has set the alarm bells ringing in the opposition RJD with senior leaders urging party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to undertake some kind of mass-contact programme to counter the political impact of his rival’s programme.

The CM has undertaken an ambitious programme of travelling through remote areas of the state along with ministers and officials to listen to people’s grievances and redress them,if possible,on the spot.

Reports from the ground have it that with Kumar’s Yatra drawing huge crowds,there are fears in RJD circles that it could translate into rich political dividends for the JD(U) in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Look at the timing of the yatra. It is just ahead of the polls. If we don’t counter it now,Kumar is sure to derive all the political mileage,” remarked an RJD leader.

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Winning a respectable number of seats in the Lok Sabha polls is crucial for the RJD chief to maintain his position of power at the Centre. It is widely believed that it would be difficult for the RJD to repeat its past performance and retain 22 seats in Bihar.

Interestingly,Kumar has adopted the very style Lalu used during his heyday. The CM,considered to be a serious politician,is often seen breaking security cordons and mingling with the masses. This move to recreate Lalu’s style has made the RJD jittery.

The most disconcerting factor for the RJD,however,is Nitish’s focus on Muslim and Dalit areas. The route of the march has been so chalked out that the CM is able to these communities,an apparent attempt to wean away RJD’s core support base. While RJD leaders are sure that Muslims would not vote for L K Advani as Prime Minister,they are unsure about what the community thinks of the JD(U).

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