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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

JD(U) hoardings with catchphrases on CM Nitish Kumar spark political stir

The hoardings, put at vantage points in the state capital Patna, appear to be a clear message to many, including the BJP, that the NDA should fight the assembly elections under the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar.

patna Updated: Sep 03, 2019 15:07 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
A Janata Dal (U) hoarding outside the party office in Patna.
A Janata Dal (U) hoarding outside the party office in Patna. (Parwaz Khan /HT PHOTO)
         

Assembly elections might be a year away in Bihar but posturing among political parties has already started. A hoarding put up by Janata Dal (United), which boldly states ‘Kyun kare vichar, thike to hai Nitish Kumar’ (Why give a second thought, Nitish Kumar is perfect) – has once again set the rumour mill running in the NDA and the Grand Alliance (GA).

The hoardings, put at vantage points in the state capital Patna with attractive catchphrases, are a clear message to many, including the BJP, that the NDA should fight the assembly elections under the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar.

“Hoardings play a crucial role in passing a message and help motivate the party also,” JD (U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan said on the need of putting up hoardings so early.

However, sources in the NDA said things are not so ‘cosy’ as seen on the surface, even though deputy CM and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had announced on the floor of the house that NDA will contest the 2020 assembly polls under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. “Several BJP senior leaders are exerting pressure on the party’s central leadership on putting a claim to chief ministership. The hoarding is one way of showing who the boss is,” said a senior NDA leader.

“Nitish Kumar is the choice of 12 crore people of the state. His work speaks for him and he is the natural choice of the people. The party is in an expansion mode and the hoarding wants to put to rest any doubts in the minds of people that is being created by opposition,” said Sanjay Singh, JD (U) spokesperson.

The BJP did not read much in the hoarding. “Every political party is free to expand their ideological wings and send messages to their supporters. NDA is a united force and well placed in Bihar. The poster on Nitish Kumar ji is message to the GA, where there is a competition going on within allies to name the chief ministerial candidate. The chaos and confusion in GA suggests they may not get the adequate number for opposition leadership claim in 2020,” reasoned BJP’s spokesperson Nikhil Anand.

The RJD did not mince words to take potshots over the hoarding. “It shows his nervousness and the internal contradictions of the NDA. The assembly polls will show him the real face of voters,” said RJD’s Bhai Birendra.

During the Lok Sabha polls held earlier this year, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s achievements and not central schemes became the focal point of JD(U)’s election campaign and posters.

“Neta Woh Jo Nirnay Le, Nitish Kumar, NDA Sarkar (A leader is one who takes decisions),” read a hoarding outside the JD (U) party office in the state capital during the Lok Sabha polls. Another one said, “Sachcha Hai, Achcha Hai, Chalo Nitish Ke Saath Chale (He is honest and nice, let’s go with Nitish).

The JD(U) had, from time to time, raked up the issue of playing the role of a ‘big brother’ in the electoral alliance in Bihar and has made it clear that the party will contest polls under Kumar’s leadership. Though Kumar was at the centre stage during the of 2015 assembly polls, with slogans like ‘Bihar mein bahar hai Nitish Kumar hai’ (Bihar blossoms under the leadership of Nitish Kumar), the recent posters speak volumes on changing dynamics within NDA’s second innings with the Bihar chief minister.

First Published: Sep 03, 2019 11:36 IST