Follow Us:

Sign of desperation? NDA’s Bihar campaign focuses solely on Lalu

If that is not enough, the BJP has brought “Jinnah, Kashmir terrorism and Pakistan zindabad” into the poll campaign giving a communal touch to the election to polarise voters along communal lines.

MANOJ CHAURASIA | Patna |

For the past 15 years, “development” has been the main theme of the NDA poll campaign. This time, however, the entire NDA~from Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to all BJP leaders~has focused their campaign on only one issue~“target Lalu Prasad and his family”.

The NDA people have been constantly trying hard to project the jailed Lalu as “Gabbar Singh” in its last ditch attempt to polarise the upper caste votes as the anti-incumbency factor works hard against Nitish and LJP’s go-solo move makes the journey further difficult for the CM.

At every election rally, the maximum energy the chief minister and his company devote to now is to create fear among the minds of the voters about how the jungle raj will return, the kidnapping industry will flourish and their lives will turn into a hell if they voted for the RJD.

“Pati-Patni ke rajya me tha apharan udyog” (kidnapping industry flourished during husband-wife rule in oblique reference to Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi), “Pahle log sham hone ke pahle hi ghar laut jate the” (earlier people would return to homes before dusk), “Naukari ke naam par bhrashtachar ka khel hoga” (Corrupt practices will flourish in the name of jobs in response to Tejashwi Yadav’s promise to give 10 lakh jobs to youths once coming to power), “Unke pas na koi vision hain na anubhav” (He, ie, Tejashwi, has neither vision nor experience), and “Aisa kaam kiya tabhi to aaj andar hain, inke aur bhi log andar jayenge (He has been jailed for his wrong-doing and many of his family will follow suit in oblique response to Lalu)”~These are some of the statements the chief minister repeats at his every rally these days.

What is peculiar, the chief minister has not only launched blistering attacks on Lalu and his wife Rabri Devi but also on his son Tejashwi Yadav who has been projected as opposition Grand Alliance’s chief ministerial candidate this time.

The development indeed looks strange given the past record. In the 2005 assembly polls when Nitish was first projected as NDA’s CM candidate, he had focussed his campaign on “development”. In the 2010 Assembly polls, his campaign remained focussed on “Bihari pride” while in last 2015 polls when he was contesting the elections in alliance with Lalu’s RJD, his themes of campaign were again “development” and “Bihari pride” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned his DNA an election rally.

Nitish won all these elections with a comfortable majority but this time both his words and actions tell an entirely different story.

“The choice of words by the CM towards his rivals gives an impression that Nitish Kumar is under tremendous pressure,” commented a political expert.

Not only Nitish, even his BJP colleagues have been solely targeting Lalu’s family during the poll campaign despite the fact that its hands are full with a number of issues, such as abrogation of Article 370, foundation-laying for Ram temple at Ayodhya, bringing new Citizenship Act and enactment of law to criminalise Triple Talaq.

If that is not enough, the BJP has brought “Jinnah, Kashmir terrorism and Pakistan zindabad” into the poll campaign giving a communal touch to the election to polarise voters along communal lines.

“We never came across such things in the past which reflects desperation in the NDA camp. Perhaps, they still think “targeting Lalu” could again fetch them votes but the idea is not going to help anymore,” commented political expert DM Diwakar.