Bihar election 2020: Modi or Nitish – Who is the ‘big face’ for NDA this poll season?

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September 23, 2020 3:08 PM

In the 2015 election, the JD(U) had tied up with the RJD of Lalu Prasad Yadav. They together bagged 151 seats (RJD-80, JDU-71). The BJP had to settle with just 53 of 243 seats. However, JDU later snapped its ties with RJD and joined BJP again.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, as expected, is banking big on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Assembly polls in Bihar. For NDA, the election would be fought under the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar but the key figure for BJP would be Prime Minister Modi. Senior BJP leader Prem Kumar yesterday said that Prime Minister Modi would be ‘the big face’ in Bihar elections. He said that now big hoardings of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister together can be seen in Patna. “It clearly speaks about the PM being a big factor in the elections,” said Prem Kumar, agriculture minister in Nitish-led government.

The state minister further said that the Centre has given Bihar a Rs 1.25-lakh-crore special package. “From laying optical fibre in villages to road, bridge, water drinking and sewerage projects, the PM has given Bihar a lot. We have to take it to the people. It would surely boost the BJP and NDA overall,” Kumar said while speaking to The Indian Express. He also said that playing up Prime Minister Modi would also benefit JD(U).

The BJP leader said that it was the party’s decision to contest the polls under the leadership of Nitish Kumar but the “Prime Minister is obviously the big face” in the coming polls. He, however, did not make any differentiation on who would be the bigger face in Bihar and said: “It is difficult to say. This comparison is not needed as the NDA is working as a unit.”

In the 2015 election, the JD(U) had tied up with the RJD of Lalu Prasad Yadav. They together bagged 151 seats (RJD-80, JDU-71). The BJP had to settle with just 53 of 243 seats. However, JDU later snapped its ties with RJD and joined BJP again. This time, the BJP wants to fight for an equal number of seats but reports suggest that the JD(U) has been trying to contest as the senior partner.

Senior JDU leader K C Tyagi believes that there should not be any debate on the role of Prime Minister and Chief Minister in the elections. He said that the “PM praises Nitish in every public meeting. It shows how important a role the CM will play in the polls”.

The elections are expected to take place despite multiple pleas for postponement by the several regional and national parties namely RJD, Congress, and LJP. Earlier this month, the RJD had filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking direction for the Election Commission to postpone the election amid rising Covid-19 cases in the country. A similar plea was filed earlier but SC rejected that saying there was no ground for postponement of the polls.

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