Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar being greeted by Janata Dal (United) MLAs on his 70th birthday in Patna on Monday. (PTI)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar being greeted by Janata Dal (United) MLAs on his 70th birthday in Patna on Monday. (PTI)

JD (U) rides piggyback on Brand Nitish on CM’s 70th birthday to revive party

  • The JD (U) organised programmes at every village across the state as Vikas Diwas to highlight the development work done under Nitish Kumar in the last 15 years.
By Vijay Swaroop | Edited by Sabir Hussain
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 07:52 PM IST

After a poor performance in last year’s assembly election in Bihar, the ruling JD (U) on Monday embarked on a mission to leverage Brand Nitish on the chief minister’s 70th birthday to rebuild the party.

The party organised programmes at every village across the state as Vikas Diwas to highlight the development work done under Nitish Kumar in the last 15 years.

This is the first time that Kumar’s birthday has been celebrated in such a big way by the JD (U).

The JD (U) had taken a serious hit in the 2020 assembly election, winning only 43 seats out of 115 it contested. After the shock and dismay, the JD (U) set itself a target to revitalize and rebuild the party from the grassroot level and affected several changes including change of national and state party presidents.

“Our leader Nitish Kumar through his tireless work and service has restored the old glory of Bihar. Today people of state are living proudly in any part of the world,” said JD (U) national president R C P Singh, while justifying the celebration of Kumar’s birthday as Vikas Diwas.

“He has shown the way by bringing in development with justice. Today, the Centre and several states are emulating schemes brought by him. The JD (U) workers will take his work, schemes of the government to each and every person and that is why we are celebrating his birthday as Vikas Diwas,” reasoned Singh.

JD (U) national principal general secretary K C Tyagi described Brand Nitish as a phenomenon that ushered in clean and honest politics.

“Post Lalu-Rabri regime, Brand Nitish has emerged as a new phenomenon in Bihar’s politics. Brand Nitish is a phenomenon which stood for good governance, politics sans nepotism and dynastic rule. It stood for development, clean and honest politics. These traits have made him one of the most successful chief ministers of the NDA,” said Tyagi.

The party's principal general secretary said that he has served various ministries at Centre and burnished his reputation with his clean image. “We acknowledge that several forces (including LJP) tried to affect Brand Nitish and were able to affect us too. But the party is going to revive the brand which is opposed to sycophancy,” said Tyagi.

A 70-pound cake was cut on the occasion at Athawan assembly constituency in Nalanda district, home to both R C P Singh and Nitish Kumar. Gifts, sweets and clothes were distributed among the poor by party leaders at several places.

The party has left behind its recent setback in Arunachal Pradesh where six of its seven MLAs joined the ruling BJP and has set its sights on other northeastern states. It has identified 32 out of the 126 assembly seats in Assam where the party may field candidates in the three-phase election in the state between March 27 and April 6. The JD(U) is also contesting the West Bengal assembly election.

“What has added to our belief of a better performance in Assam and West Bengal is that people have great respect for Nitish Kumar and they trust him. The development works done by Kumar, especially in Assam’s Nagaon district, during his tenure as Union railway minister when rail lines were laid for over 120 km, is still remembered by people. This rail line became the lifeline for many, and they profusely thank him for this,” said JD (U) national secretary and in-charge for the northeast, Sanjay Verma.

The party think-tank believes that propagating the work and image of Nitish Kumar is the only way to revive the party’s popularity.

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