Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to share the stage with his Bihar counterpart, Nitish Kumar, before the announcement of the schedule for this year’s assembly election in the eastern state, a move that will signal the AAP chief’s tacit support to the JD(U) leader.
Sources say Kejriwal shares cordial relations with Kumar but is averse to campaigning openly for him in view of his reservations against RJD chief Lalu Prasad and the Congress that have stitched together an avowedly secular alliance with the JD(U) to take on the BJP in the polls.
The two chief ministers, who met for the fourth time in about two months on Tuesday, have crafted a shrewd strategy for the election with Kejriwal to be felicitated by Kumar in Patna at an official function before the model code of conduct coming into force, sources say.
Political observers maintain Kejriwal’s upcoming visit is likely to boost the secular alliance’s chances as he brought the BJP’s election-winning juggernaut to a grinding halt in the Capital this year.
“But given his reservations against Lalu and Congress, he will not participate in any of the political programmes of the alliance,” an AAP official said.
The AAP will also provide backroom support to Kumar’s team in devising canvassing strategy.
Kumar, who supported Kejriwal’s campaign in Varanasi against Narendra Modi ahead of last year’s parliamentary elections, was inspired by the AAP leader’s innovative strategies which he attempted to replicate.
In a move that seems to bear the AAP chief’s signature, most three-wheelers in Patna have been plastered with Kumar’s pictures and a political message at the back.
“We are also trying to reproduce the AAP’s social media campaign in order to reach out more effectively to the youth by abandoning the old socialist jargons,” a senior JD(U) leader said.
At their meeting on Tuesday, Kejriwal reportedly advised the Bihar CM to take advantage of the BJP shying away from naming a chief ministerial candidate by turning the campaign into a Kumar versus Narendra Modi battle.