RJD party chief Lalu Prasad said Nitish Kumar will continue as Bihar Chief Minister despite his party emerging as the table topper, while he will launch a nation-wide agitation against the “communal” Narendra Modi government.
Exultant after the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance appeared on course to a resounding victory, a jubilant Prasad claimed continuance of the Modi government will “break the nation into pieces”.
Accompanied by a smiling Kumar, his foe-turned-ally, Prasad said: “We will continue with our fight. There will be such a long-term impact of Bihar results on the national politics that you cannot imagine. The Modi government, the RSS government will be demolished. I will also go to Varanasi (Modi’s constituency) with lantern (RJD’s election symbol)”.
Even as RJD emerged as the single largest party, having won nine seats and leading in another 71, Prasad said it was a victory of the grand alliance and not of one party.
“If anyone wants to sow the seeds of division among us, we won’t let that happen. We are not going to be divided for the next ten lives,” he said in his inimitable style amid loud cheers from workers and supporters.
On his nation-wide stir, Prasad said he will take together farmers, labourers and the deprived sections “to uproot the communal Modi government”. “They have been chased out of Bihar.”
The grand alliance government will work for the fast development of Bihar and put it on the national map in economic progress, he said.
Notwithstanding a string of losses that began with the defeat in the 2005 assembly polls when his party was ousted from power after 15 years and a court ruling, which will keep him out of electoral fray for six years, Prasad has made a resounding comeback on Bihar’s political stage now.
As for Nitish Kumar, often referred to as Chanakya of Bihar politics, he lived up to the moniker when he surprisingly joined hands with arch rival Prasad to script a third consecutive term for himself as Chief Minister after being bruised and bloodied in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
One reason for the victory of Grand Alliance is his immense popularity. Another factor is the new tendency among Indian voters to support a party at state level which is different from the one at the Centre.
The Grand Alliance had a master strategist Prashant Kishore to script a winning formula for them.
Bihar poll results show the victory of tolerance. The issue of intolerance had dominated the national debate during the five-phase elections in in the state with a large number of artists, writers and others returning their awards to protest against what they called an ‘atmosphere of rising intolerance’ in the country.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment on a rethink over caste-based reservations and Union minister V K Singh’s remarks on Dalits alarmed backward communities many of whom voted against BJP. The debate on intolerance further consolidated minority votes in favour of Grand Alliance.
In Bihar, BJP could not gain many votes by relentlessly attacking Congress as the party wisely remained on sidelines as a smallest component of the Grand Alliance.
Finally, while the Alliance has formidable leaders like Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad, BJP could not project anyone as a potential chief ministerial candidate during the elections campaigns.
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