The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to announce its chief ministerial face for Bihar after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls to take on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the assembly polls, The Indian Express reported. The Bihar Assembly elections will be held in 2025.
A meeting of the state core committee was held during the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was on a two-day trip to the Seemanchal region of the state. Shah had presided over the Saturday meeting.
In the meet, the party discussed its course of action in view of new challenges and the changed political landscape in the state as the Janata Dal (United) broke ties with the BJP to join hands with former rival Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
This was Shah’s first visit to the state after Nitish parted ways with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) last month and rejoined hands with RJD to form the Mahagathbandhan government.
Shah would be visiting other areas of the state soon, party sources told IE.
The BJP has mostly been in alliance with JD-U with Nitish Kumar as the CM in the state, but after Nitish’s exit, it is unlikely that a reconciliation in the future is possible, as he has been aggressively attacked by BJP leaders over his decision.
The meeting was unanimous on not “allowing return of Nitish Kumar to the NDA”. “Ab hum Nitish ko puri tarah pehchaan gaye hain (now we have fully understood Nitish Kumar),” a BJP leader had said at the meeting, as quoted by IE.
In the meet, there was also mention of political analyst Prashant Kishor, who has worked with both BJP and JD (U). Kishor will soon begin his political venture with the launch of a padayatra (foot march) on October 2, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
“He has been attacking Nitish’s model of governance. That makes our job easier. However, it is wrong on the part of Nitish Kumar to say that Kishor is working on our behalf. Rather, he has been meeting Nitish Kumar more often”, a BJP source was quoted saying.
As part of its growth strategy, the BJP campaign has been taking on RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav rather than his son Tejashwi Yadav. “Our idea is to rid Bihar of two old people, Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar. Tejashwi represents only Lalu,” the source said.
In 2020, when the BJP-JDU won the election in alliance with each other in Bihar and the JD-U chief was made the chief minister despite BJP being the single largest party.