Nitish Kumar’s “Sushasan Babu (Mr Good Governance)” tag is at stake as he fights for a fourth straight time period as Bihar’s Chief Minister. The heckling at his rallies and pro-opposition slogans raised throughout his excursions ought to deeply fear his marketing campaign managers.
Nitish Kumar, 69, faces a number of challengers within the Bihar election. Weeks in the past, the ruling Nationwide Democratic Alliance (NDA) wouldn’t have imagined so many rivals ranged in opposition to the Chief Minister.
Formally, his predominant opponent is his former deputy Tejashwi Yadav, the joint chief ministerial face of the opposition alliance comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and three Left events.
Marginal gamers have additionally banded in opposition to him — Upendra Kushwaha of the RLSP backed by Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Social gathering (BSP) and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM; and Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Social gathering (JAP) with Bhim Military’s Chandrasekhar Azad Ravan.
However Nitish Kumar’s worst enemy in the present day is the 37-year-old actor-turned-politician who was his ally for 3 years till he revolted.
Chirag Paswan, the chief of the Lok Janshakti Social gathering (LJP), is combating his first election in Bihar alone, an enormous gamble that pits him in opposition to his personal coalition, the NDA. He has made it clear that his sole agenda is to oust Nitish Kumar and kind a authorities with the BJP.
Nitish Kumar has causes to fret about Tejashwi Yadav, who’s drawing big crowds and whose promise of 10 lakh authorities jobs appears to have resonated with extra in Bihar than the Chief Minister would care to confess.
However Chirag Paswan and his perceived hidden backers within the BJP have given the five-time Chief Minister sleepless nights.
As one travels throughout Bihar, the “Parivartan (change) brigade” is seen. They’re the BJP employees who consider Nitish Kumar ought to go. For them it’s now or by no means. They see a possibility within the revolt by ally-not ally Chirag Paswan.
On report, BJP leaders have attacked Chirag Paswan however the get together has stopped in need of throwing him out of the alliance regardless of his relentless assaults on Nitish Kumar, who heads the NDA in Bihar.
Union Residence Minister Amit Shah, in two interviews in two days, revealed extra in what he didn’t say about him. He expressed disappointment over Chirag Paswan’s transfer and stated whether or not Paswan Junior could be inducted within the Union Cupboard – after his father Ram Vilas Paswan’s loss of life just lately – could be determined after the Bihar polls. The BJP is clearly not slicing him unfastened.
Leaders of Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United are disenchanted; the BJP will not be above placing rebellious allies of their place, but the LJP chief is getting away with each insult, each assault aimed on the Chief Minister – together with a menace of jail for corruption.
On the bottom, Nitish Kumar and the BJP are campaigning collectively. BJP leaders are even attending nominations and conferences for JDU candidates. BJP MPs like Chedi Paswan and Sushil Singh, who tried to steer clear of JDU candidates, fell in line after a nudge from the management.
These BJP leaders say there’s an excessive amount of anger in opposition to Nitish Kumar.
Why is Bihar indignant?
Nitish Kumar’s largest mistake, his critics say, was to undermine the coronavirus and the migrant disaster.
His cussed refusal to deliver migrants again in the midst of the lockdown and the failure to supply jobs turned a rallying level not only for Tejashwi Yadav but additionally Chirag Paswan. Worse, he was MIA throughout the months of coronavirus lockdown when he may have reached out to the lots. He was the one Chief Minister who did not handle the individuals of his state or the media on the time. “Now he’s popping out to ask for votes,” Tejashwi Yadav says in his rallies.
A poorly applied liquor ban can be seen to have taken the sheen off “Sushasan Babu“. It resulted in a parallel economic system that has thrived regardless of legal guidelines and cops.
His “Saat Nischay” scheme has solely served to alienate allies. Regardless of his discuss of zero tolerance on corruption, it’s nonetheless robust in Bihar to get work completed with out bribe.
Nitish Kumar’s supporters admit his vanity will not be serving to. As soon as among the many most seen Chief Ministers of India, he’s now aloof and just about a recluse.
Nitish Kumar has by no means contested the state election barring 1995. He turned Chief Minister when he was an MP after which he resigned. He has all the time been a member of the Bihar Legislative Council.
In 2015, a 12 months after the Narendra Modi-led BJP authorities got here to energy, the Bihar ballot battle turned a Nitish Kumar vs PM Modi battle. In 2010, earlier than the JDU stop the NDA, he refused to let Mr Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, marketing campaign for him.
His long-time friend-turned-political rival Shivanand Tiwari says he was completed politically when he resurrected his alliance with the BJP in 2017, 4 years after he walked out over Narendra Modi’s elevation as NDA’s Prime Ministerial selection.
Earlier than that, Nitish Kumar was seen as the one man who may rival PM Modi. Along with his clear picture, he additionally represented the “anti-Lalu Yadav” spectrum in Bihar.
After the Nitish Kumar-BJP coalition returned, when PM Modi rejected the Chief Minister’s demand for central standing to Patna College, it was clear that the steadiness of energy had shifted.
Nitish Kumar even prevented issuing his personal manifesto and saved speaking concerning the alliance within the 2019 nationwide election simply to maintain PM Modi in good humour, Mr Tiwari stated.
On Friday, at their first rally collectively, PM Modi focused opposition criticism of his authorities’s Article 370 choice, proper subsequent to Nitish Kumar, who had initially been amongst these critics and later modified his thoughts.
Rally crowds aren’t the whole lot, as a number of elections have proved.
BJP leaders admit they’re bowled over by Tejashwi Yadav’s jam-packed conferences.
Tejashwi’s dealing with of the opposition Mahagatbandhan and the best way he off-loaded deadweight allies Upendra Kushwaha and Mukesh Sahni are cited as proof that the 31-year-old has upskilled in politics whereas his father Lalu Yadav was serving a jail time period.
However Tejashwi Yadav’s best-case situation remains to be primarily based on the BJP sabotaging its personal Chief Minister or Chirag Paswan doing a little precise harm to Nitish Kumar. Which is why the RJD chief just lately tsk tsk-ed Nitish Kumar’s “injustice to” Chirag Paswan.
The surprising recognition of Tejashwi’s jobs promise has rattled Nitish Kumar. He just lately shouted at a crowd: “Cease speaking nonsense. In case you do not wish to vote for me, then do not”.
The Chief Minister’s get together males say these are simply wrinkles. “Our social base is undamaged and the NDA is united. The individuals of Bihar nonetheless don’t need the return of Lalu-Rabari Raj (Lalu Yadav and his spouse Rabri Devi’s rule), which is what Tejashwi stands for,” says JDU chief spokesperson Sanjay Singh.