‘NDA to fight Bihar polls under Nitish Kumar’s leadership’: Nadda
Alliance partners the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal (United) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will fight the upcoming Bihar elections together under the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar, BJP national president JP Nadda said on Sunday.
“Whenever the three parties --- the BJP, the JD(U) and the LJP --- came together, there was resounding victory (in Bihar)…We will fight together and we will win again,” Nadda said, addressing party leaders and workers in Bihar through video-conferencing
He appealed to BJP workers to become “ambassadors of change”. “For this, we have to contest at each and every booth to win. We have to add value not only to BJP, but to the alliance partners as well…We are fighting an election during a pandemic and the challenges are immense,” he said, striking a note of unity in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the concluding session of the two-day Bihar BJP meet.
Nadda’s remarks came at a time when Kumar’s JD (U) and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP have appeared to be at odds. The LJP has even questioned Kumar’s leadership in the run-up to the elections to the 243-member House due in October-November.
In an interview to HT on August 22, LJP president Chirag Paswan criticised the Bihar government for its alleged failure in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and the state’s annual flood woes.
In his address from the national capital, Nadda said BJP workers should not only spread awareness about the central government’s schemes and efforts to mitigate the Covid-19 crisis but should also highlight the good work done by the state government.
“…we need to take all precautions of physical and social distancing. So, the best form of campaigning is small door-to-door campaigning,” he told his partymen. “Reach out all sections of society, all age groups.”
He also hit out at the Opposition, calling it a “spent force”. “They do not have any vision, thought. They are doing petty politics,” Nadda said.
JDU leader and minister in the state cabinet Sanjay Jha told HT in an interview last week that BJP leadership’s announcement that the election will be held under the leadership of Nitish Kumar should end all speculation about infighting in the alliance.
In the Bihar elections, the NDA will be up against a grand alliance, or mahagathbandhan, of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahni’s Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP).
The Election Commission is yet to announce the poll schedule for Bihar, but there are indications that the voting process might be held on time. Recently, the poll watchdog released a broad set of guidelines for post-pandemic elections.