Bihar will go to polls in October-November later this year. Nitish Kumar will seek a fourth consecutive win.
Senior BJP leader and Bihar’s deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi threw his weight behind Nitish Kumar’s candidature for the upcoming Assembly elections. In an interview with The Indian Express, Sushil Kumar categorically dismissed reports of a rift with the party over Nitish Kumar being projected as the chief ministerial face of the NDA again.
“See, Nitish Kumar is not a selected Chief Minister, he is an elected Chief Minister. He is not just a leader of the JD(U). People vote (for our alliance) because Nitish Kumar is the chief ministerial candidate. There is no confusion in the BJP about this,” he said.
He said there was no question of changing the CM candidate after winning the Assembly elections.
“Earlier too, we have fought elections together with Nitish Kumar as candidate. The party is unanimous on this,” the deputy CM said.
Sushil Kumar said that the alliance will win the elections and form government only by allying with Nitish Kumar. “There is no confusion about it,” he added.
The politician recounted that the BJP-JD(U) alliance has fought five Lok Sabha, and total nine elections together. The two parties, he said, transfer votes to each other.
“Every time we fight elections together, we win most of the time. In fact, we are stronger than before… We have a committee for every booth. Our organisation network is very strong,” he said.
“In 2015, we fought alone and couldn’t win. The JD(U) fought alone in 2014 but couldn’t win… Also, I knew that Nitish Kumar could not work with Lalu for long. His way of working, his mindset, the RJD does not fit into it,” he said, adding that the BJP-JD(U) is a natural alliance and the people of Bihar feel this.
When asked about the seat-sharing formula, he refrained from making any straight comment. Sushil Kumar said that the seat-sharing decisions are taken at the central level and talks are underway.
“All I will say is that the BJP, JD(U) and LJP will stay together, fight the elections together, and will form the next government in Bihar together,” he said.
In the Lok Sabha elections held in 2019, the BJP and the JD(U) fought on 17 seats each while the remaining six went to the LJP.
To a question on how much young politicians like LJP’s Chirag Paswan and the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav affect the BJP’s appeal, he said, “In comparison to Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi is younger. But whom did people vote for? Nobody votes for anyone because they are young. It is about who can deliver, the candidate and the party’s credibility.”
Bihar will go to polls in October-November later this year. While Nitish Kumar will seek a fourth consecutive win, it will be RJD’s battle for survival. The RJD is led by Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejashwi.