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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Four reasons why Nitish Kumar is taunting BJP in Jharkhand

Nitish virtually took digs at the BJP, which has ruled the state for maximum period, and said the state carved out of undivided Bihar has not progressed the way it was expected to. He taunted the BJP government saying people from Bihar, where prohibition is in force, come to Jharkhand for liquor.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2019 09:03 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar(HT Photo)
         

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who was in Ranchi on Saturday, sounded out to leaders of his Janata Dal (United) that his party may go it alone in Jharkhand where ally BJP is in power.

Nitish virtually took digs at the BJP, which has ruled the state for maximum period, and said the state carved out of undivided Bihar has not progressed the way it was expected to. He taunted the BJP government saying people from Bihar, where prohibition is in force, come to Jharkhand for liquor.

Ahead of the assembly election in Jharkhand, due in December, this muscle flexing by Nitish Kumar is seen as a precursor to his expansion plans in the state. Here are four reasons, why Nitish Kumar has got interested in Jharkhand

1) The Janata Dal (United) wants to regain its lost glory in Jharkhand. In the first assembly election held in 2005, the JD(U) polled 4% votes and won 6 assembly seats. It was reduced to 2 seats and in 2009 and polled 2.8% votes. Nitish’s party could not win even a single seat in 2014 and polled just 1% votes.

2) Jharkhand was once part of undivided Bihar, and the JD(U) feels brand Nitish has a value in the state. Party’s vice president Prashant Kishor has asked party cadre to treat the December assembly election as a stepping stone for future polls

3) Given sizeable population of Other Backward Classes, the JD(U) believes that Nitish Kumar’s OBC credentials can draw a lot of support from these communities. OBCs have been traditional supporters of the BJP, and JD(U) sees an opportunity to make inroads.

4. Ideally, the JD(U) would like the BJP to spare some seats for it in Jharkhand as well. But the BJP is pursuing a mission to win 65 out of 81 assembly seats in the state. For that it needs to contest as many seats as it can. The BJP already has an alliance with the All Jharkhand Students Union, a local outfit headed by former minister Sudesh Mahato. This reduced space for Nitish Kumar in the NDA fold for Jharkhand. Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan, too, is asking for a couple of seats.

First Published: Sep 09, 2019 09:01 IST