BJP outpaces JD(U), in driver’s seat

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 10

Even while swinging wildly between the two main contestants — JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar-led NDA and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav-led Mahagathbandhan — the results of the 2020 Bihar elections today firmly put into place the BJP in the driving seat, reducing CM Nitish Kumar to the secondary position, for the first time in the NDA relationship in the state.

Now, whosoever becomes the CM, the BJP has become the dominant political force in the Bihar, say political observers. Though the top BJP leadership has said Nitish will be the CM even if the JD(U) gets lesser numbers, voices are expected to start emerging from within the state unit for a BJP CM, they believe. And as the party’s national general secretary, Tarun Chugh, interestingly mentioned “it will be CM of the choice of PM, whether from the JD(U) or the BJP”.

BJP workers celebrate the party’s lead in the Bihar poll, in Prayagraj. PTI

The downsizing of JD(U)’s numbers has also put on the roll the saffron party’s long-term plans to strike alone in the state sometime in future. And if Nitish becomes the CM, it will be on BJP’s terms. Therefore in those terms, the saffron party has emerged as the big gainer in these elections. The BJP called it an “endorsement” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies amid the Covid pandemic.

The results from the by-polls and Bihar have also given BJP president JP Nadda much to cheer about.

A section believes that Chirag actually “diverted attention from anger against Nitish”. “He played the role of a vote katuwa, but in favour of the NDA,” they say.

“It was a combination of forward, non-Yadav OBCs and majority of MBCs, EBCs and Dalits that worked with VIP and HAM(S) adding key caste vote banks for the NDA. Mahagathbandhan’s decision to give more seats to Congress and part ways with Mukesh Sahani-led VIP worked for the NDA,” they add.

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