Bihar Election 2020: If everything works out as per plan, Chirag could be the next kingmaker and BJP the real king. In the 2019 general election, the LJP had won 6 Lok Sabha seats that have over 40 assembly constituencies.
The LJP has snapped its ties in the state but will be part of NDA alliance in the Centre and will back Prime Minister Modi. (IE)
Bihar Election 2020: The LJP’s walkout from NDA alliance in Bihar could possibly end the decades-old pursuit of power by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP has for years tried to occupy the highest chair in the caste-dominant politics of Bihar, but could never secure enough numbers to be able to form a government on its own or negotiate with its ally, JDU. Even though it has been in the government for over a decade with the JDU, the real power vests with chief minister Nitish Kumar who calls the shots on all key issues. While the BJP never officially questioned the leadership of Nitish Kumar, it is not satisfied with what it has got so far – Deputy CM post.
The BJP leaders have been demanding — though quietly — the JDU to give a chance to the saffron party to install its own chief minister in Bihar. But so far Nitish has not shown any signs of willingness to yield the space or accommodate the aspirations of the BJP. So, instead of convincing Nitish, the BJP appears to have taken a different route by letting Chirag walk out on a friendly note and contest on 143 of 243 seats — the LJP will not field its candidates against the BJP.
If everything works out as per plan, Chirag could be the next kingmaker and BJP the real king. In the 2019 general election, the LJP had won 6 Lok Sabha seats that have over 40 assembly constituencies. Going by its performance in the general elections, Chirag’s party is expecting to win 35 to 40 seats in the assembly polls.
This time, the BJP and JDU will contest on almost similar number of seats. While prospects for BJP to perform better is high, the same cannot be said for Nitish as his handling of Covid-19 and immigrant crisis was questioned and criticised very heavily. And don’t forget the anti-incumbency, that some say Chirag has sensed very early.
Considering all these factors playing out simultaneously, the BJP has a greater chance to perform better and have the upper hand with more number of seats vis-à-vis JD(U).
In such a case, the LJP, which has already said that it will not accept the leadership of Nitish Kumar, will back the BJP for the chief ministerial post. And the LJP doesn’t deny it either. LJP General Secretary AK Vajpayee told FinancialExpress.Com that if the BJP gets the highest seats then “naturally” it would get the top post.
The BJP, however, will have to walk a tightrope and wait for the results as Nitish with significant numbers may switch over to the other side if denied the top post – Shiv Sena has done it too in Maharashtra. In the 243-member House, a party needs 122 seats to form the government. In 2010, when BJP and JDU had together contested the polls, the former had got 91 while Nitish bagged 115. But that was 10 years ago and a lot of water has flown under the bridge.
Justifying its walkout from the alliance, LJP’s AK Vajpayee says that Nitish Kumar has failed in his job when it comes to Covid-19, drought, migrant crisis and ration cards. He says the wind is blowing against Nitish but Prime Minister Modi’s image and work will save the day for the BJP in Bihar. The LJP has snapped its ties in the state but will be part of NDA alliance in the Centre and will back Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If everything goes as per plan, the BJP can hope for a change in its fortunes in Bihar.