With Nitish, Tejashwi laser-focused on 2024, INDIA is stronger in Bihar

With Nitish, Tejashwi laser-focused on 2024, INDIA is stronger in Bihar

IANS Photo

Patna, August 12 (IANS) After the formation of the Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar of the JD-U and deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD have set differences aside and have focused on the goal of putting up a good show in the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

Nitish Kumar wants to prove that his political status is much higher than the figure reflected after the Bihar assembly election when his JD-U reached 43 seats while Tejashwi Yadav and his father Lalu Prasad want to uproot the ruling BJP from the Centre. They will achieve their goals only when they unite in Bihar and challenge the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led BJP.

History indicates that Bihar has three political forces, the RJD, JD-U and the BJP and if any two of them join hands, they can cross the victory line easily. It happened in 2015 when the RJD and the JD-U fought together against the BJP. The same thing happened in 2020 when the BJP and the JD-U contested together and defeated the RJD.

The assembly election of 2020 was crucial for the JD-U as it probably experienced for the first time how alliance partners can backstab during elections. After that assembly poll, the BJP on several occasions gave a hint of trying finish regional parties in the country. The statement of BJP national president JP Nadda on July 31 last year emphasised that only the BJP will remain and the regional parties will be finished.

Both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad are aware that they will have no future if the BJP comes to power again in 2024.
“It is a political compulsion of both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav to stay united and not allow any kind of rift in the governance of Bihar. After the formation of the Mahagathbandhan government, leaders like Sudhakar Singh were trying to expose their own government and the RJD had taken strong action against him. He was forced to resign from the post of agriculture minister. Bihar education minister Prof Chandrashekher gave statements against Ramchartmanas, Nitish Kumar and the JD-U objected to it and the RJD took action against him. Now, he has no power in his own ministry. The education department is run by additional chief secretary KK Pathak.

"Similarly, Jitan Ram Manjhi was bargaining for the Lok Sabha seats with Nitish Kumar and the latter had asked him either to merge his party with the JD-U or leave the Mahagathbandhan. Jitan Ram Manjhi finally left the Mahagathbandhan. So, both sides are taking action against leaders who are giving the impression of becoming rebels," said an analyst.

Nitish Kumar on Friday said: “The opposition unity started from Patna and then reached Bengaluru and now we will meet in Mumbai to finalise the seat sharing formula. As all these things are happening, the leaders of the BJP are annoyed about it. The BJP will be finished in 2024 and hence they are afraid.”

“Everyone should know that this time we are united and working together. We are ready to contest the Lok Sabha election together. The people of the country are realising that the BJP only does publicity and has nothing to do with the public welfare works. In Bihar, we have done all the development work,” Kumar said.

"With the seat sharing formula finalized in the Mumbai meeting, the Congress party has to show a big heart and allow the regional parties to flourish in the states where they are in the driver's seat," said Shivanand Tiwari, the national vice president of the RJD.

"There is no doubt that if the Congress party will win the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, it will do well in the Lok Sabha poll 2024 but winning those states needs combining with other political parties. The Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav has taken 2 to 3 percent votes in the MP elections in the past. So you cannot say that the Karnataka formula will apply everywhere," Tiwari said.

"The  Congress has to negotiate with the SP in Madhya Pradesh and respect its existence in Uttar Pradesh. Akhilesh Yadav is a bigger force in Uttar Pradesh than the Congress party. Similarly in BIhar, the RJD and the JD-U are the bigger political force than the Congress. So, it needs to give a higher number of seats to bigger political forces," he said.