18 months after Bihar drubbing, BJP picks itself up to take on Nitish
The party seems to have realised it needs to be in an aggressive agitational mode, to take on chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad, in the 2019 Lok sabha poll.india Updated: May 03, 2017 19:25 IST
Eighteen months it was decimated by the RJD-JD (U)-Congress ‘grand alliance’ (GA), in the November 2015 Bihar assembly poll, the BJP has declared it is ready to launch a mass agitation against the GA government in the state, headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar.
Beginning mid-May, the BJP will undertake a ‘mass agitation’ on issues like corruption in governance, alleged amassing of property through ‘dubious’ means, by RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s family members and non-allotment of land for Central projects in Bihar.
This was announced on Wednesday, at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of state executive committee of the BJP, at the Muslim-dominated eastern Bihar district headquarters town of Kishanganj.
This was the first major state-wide agitation announced by the BJP, the principal opposition party in Bihar, since it would win just 53 out of 243 Bihar assembly seats in the 2015 assembly poll, to the GA’s combined tally of 178 seats.
The announcement came amidst efforts by GA leaders, including JD (U) president Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, to unite the opposition to put up a single candidate against NDA’s presidential poll nominee in July and against PM Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.
In his speech at the meet, Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai slammed the chief minister for ‘patronizing scams’, pushing the state into anarchy and forcing people to emigrate from the state once again, as it ‘happened in the 1990s’ (when Lalu Prasad was in charge) .
“Not only youths, but Biharis in general, are being forced to leave the state due to lawlessness. Since independence, this is the first time Bihar is passing through such a grave situation arising out of fear,” Rai claimed at a media interface.
Earlier, the state executive passed a political resolution to oppose corruption, hike in power tariff, lawlessness, non-implementation of ‘seven resolves’ of governance, state apathy towards farmers’ and deterioration in educational institutions.
Rai wondered why the CM had not sacked Prasad’s two sons, health minister Tej Pratap Yadav and deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, from his cabinet, for ‘hiding facts’ about their property and allegedly acquiring prime land through shell companies.
“The CM is abetting corruption. Only scams have taken place in the GA government, one after another - be it the inter toppers’ scam or non-purchase of medicines for hospitals,” said Rai, who strongly pitched for the party to expose scams to win over voters.
BJP sources said the party would make every effort break the OBC consolidation in favour of the GA, which along with support of Muslims, enabled it to win the 2015 poll.
Rai said the BJP-led NDA was set to repeat its 31 seats out of 40 Bihar Lok Sabha seats tally of 2014, in the 2019 election. “All caste equations will fail in 2019”, the BJP state chief said.
He hit out at GA constituents, RJD and JD (U), for opposing the backward classes commission bill, saying it reflected how the two parties championing the cause of social justice did not want the reservation system to get constitutional protection.
In the same vein, he accused the state government of not proving land for Central projects, including land for two hospitals on the pattern of PMCH at Samastipur and Nalanda, worth Rs 400 crore, and 13 state highways to be upgraded to national highways.
“If Bihar’s villages are lighted up today, it is due to Deen Dayal Upadhayay rural electrification scheme of the centre. There are numerous such schemes which are not getting implemented due to state’s apathetic attitude towards land allotment,” Rai claimed.