‘Nitish like Atal and Modi’, JD(U) snubs BJP leaders seeking change in Bihar leadership
Earlier, former union minister and BJP MLC Sanjay Paswan and union minister Giriraj Singh had suggested that Kumar should make way for a leader from the saffron party for the top post in the state, which led to a sharp response from the JD (U).Updated: Dec 24, 2019 19:51 IST
A day after BJP’s shock defeat in Jharkhand polls, murmurs of dissent started in the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) in Bihar with some BJP leaders repeating the demand for a “change in face” that will lead the alliance into 2020 assembly polls against a buoyant opposition.
The latest round of barbs come even though the BJP and JD (U) leaders said the Jharkhand results will have no impact on the “firm and intact” NDA in Bihar.
On Tuesday, former Nokha MLA and senior BJP leader Rameshwar Chaurasia rekindled the demand for a new face in the state.
“People have become fed up with seeing one face again and again over a period. This happens in every field. Bihar also needs to have a new face,” said Chaurasia, while talking to media persons.
JD(U) was quick to dismiss Chaurasia’s suggestion by drawing a parallel between Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“There are some faces which are tested, accepted and charismatic. Figures like late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Karpoori Thakur, Nitish Kumar, PM Narendra Modi, etc., fall in this category. We don’t think there is a need to change the face. BJP national president had made an announcement in this regard,” said JD (U) principal general secretary K C Tyagi.
The senior JD (U) leader instead put the heat on the BJP by saying the party’s loss in Jharkhand was a result of not taking along its allies. “Had they taken along with them the alliance partners like AJSU (All Jharkhand Students Union) Party, the results would have been different in Jharkhand,” he said.
Tyagi’s view was seconded by the JD (U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan, who also blamed the lack of alliance in Jharkhand as one of the principal reasons for the BJP’s defeat.
This is not the first time that demand for change of face in Bihar has been raised by the BJP leaders.
Earlier, former union minister and BJP MLC Sanjay Paswan and union minister Giriraj Singh had suggested that Kumar should make way for a leader from the saffron party for the top post in the state, which led to a sharp response from the JD (U). Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi had to step in to clarify that the incumbent CM was the NDA “captain” in Bihar and there was no need to change him since he was performing very well.
However, Modi’s message didn’t quell the demand completely in the party.
The matter was put to rest by BJP national president and union home minister Amit Shah in October when he said the 2020 Bihar assembly elections will be fought in alliance with the Janata Dal (United) and under the leadership of Nitish Kumar.
Despite the demand for a change in the leadership, a BJP leader candidly accepted that the party had no option but to accept Kumar as the leader. “We don’t see any strong candidate to replace him,” said the BJP leader, wishing not to be named.
Political analyst D M Diwakar said Amit Shah had prevented the NDA from disintegrating by naming Nitish as its leader in Bihar. “At least they have a face to present before the people. This will also help nullify the lack of unity that they showed in Jharkhand,” said Diwakar.