Nitish Kumar; keeping the wolf from his door.

Nitish Kumar; keeping the wolf from his door.

BJP Bihar reboot: Sushil Modi’s exit, Shahnawaz’s entry

Chirag Paswan attacks Nitish; gives him time to sort things out

Agency Report | Patna | 19 January, 2021 | 10:50 PM

After the recent Bihar Assembly election, the BJP - a major constituent of the ruling NDA in the state - has been constantly rebooting its political strategy in the state.

Now the latest move by the saffron party has sprung a surprise as it declared Union minister Shahnawaz Hussain as its candidate for the Bihar Legislative Council. There are now indications of far-reaching preparations over this move by the BJP.

Earlier, former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had been nominated to Rajya Sabha by the BJP while Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi were appointed deputy chief ministers. In the BJP, Sushil Modi is seen as a supporter of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

BJP sources also believe that after the emergence of the NDA as the largest block in Bihar, the party is trying to come out of the shadow of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. On one hand, Sushil Modi has been sent to the Rajya Sabha and the BJP’s Muslim face Shahnawaz Hussain is to be sent to Bihar.

Political experts believe the BJP has made a far-reaching political move by sending Hussain to Bihar. This move by the BJP is also being seen as a pressure tactic against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Analyst Manikant Thakur says the BJP has sent a clear message to Nitish Kumar to either toe its line in Bihar or accept a major post at the Centre.

But BJP leaders are not saying anything openly on the changes in the party’s political strategy. A BJP leader said that the party has now made up its mind to do politics in Bihar on the ‘front foot’.

Some people also believe that the BJP is working on a plan to strengthen its hold in the Seemanchal region by projecting Shahnawaz Hussain as the party’s Muslim face while the opposition RJD is also trying to create a dent in the BJP by eyeing the Muslim votebank.

With the arrival of Shahnawaz Hussain, the BJP will get a boost in Bihar and send a positive message among the Muslim community as his political image is of a young, fiery and trustworthy leader.

BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said that whatever decision is taken by the party’s top leadership, all the party leaders and grassroot workers accept it readily.

Probably for the first time, Chirag Paswan on Tuesday attacked CM Nitish Kumar over the deteriorating law and order situation in Bihar.

Paswan was in Patna after news emerged that 27 of his party leaders had resigned from the primary membership of the party on Monday. They were reportedly not pleased with the leadership of Chirag Paswan.

“We have witnessed back to back murders and kidnapping at every place. The criminals are so fearless that they are killing even not-so-prominent people. People are running scared because of the crime. As Nitish Kumar is the CM and he is also holding the home ministry portfolio, it is his responsibility to maintain law and order in the state,” Paswan said.

While being critical of the CM, at the same time, Paswan gave some time to Nitish Kumar to sort things out.

“As per our party’s ideology, we used to give six months time to the ruling alliance in Bihar. My father did that every time a new government was formed in state, including in 2015 when the Mahagathbandhan formed the government in Bihar under the leadership of Nitish Kumar,” recalled Paswan. (IANS)