NaMo, Nitish & Lalu: All indulging in one-man campaign
Patna,(BiharTimes): While the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign throughout India is virtually on the shoulders of one man, Narendra Modi, in Bihar the scenario is even more personality-based.
If chief minister Nitish Kumar is single-handedly leading the Janata Dal (United) campaign his rival in the state politics, Lalu Prasad Yadav, has been campaigning across the state alone. It is true these two parties have other leaders too, but they are not being given fair opportunity to campaign.
Besides, they all are confined to their own election, therefore, are unable to address public meetings outside their own respective constituencies. For example, Janata Dal (United) president, Sharad Yadav, is confined to Madhepura, where he is fighting with his back to the wall against RJD’s Pappu Yadav and BJP’s Vijay Kushwaha.
RJD’s leaders like Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Jagdanand Singh, Prabhunath Singh etc are all busy in their own constituencies. Even after the election in their constituencies are over they are not going to campaign all over the state.
Both Nitish and Lalu have an advantage. They both are not in the fray and can move about freely.
Nitish’s problem is all more complex. He can not trust his ministers as the most senior of them, Narendra Singh, while electioneering publicly said that he can ensure the defeat of Jamui candidate of the Janata Dal (United), Uday Narayan Chaudhary. Incidentally, he said so in the meeting in which both the chief minister and Chaudhary were present.
Lalu at least do not fear so much threat from his trusted lieutenants, yet he too does not let others undertake the campaign in a big way.
But then the president and vice president of his alliance partner, the Congress, have been campaigning in the state. So if the command is in the hands of one man in the BJP, it is virtually in the hands of Gandhi family in the Congress.
In the NDA too there is hardly any leader other than Narendra Modi, who is campaigning. At a couple of places Rajnath Singh has addressed meetings but hardly got any media coverage.
Even the towering personality like Lal Krishna Advani was asked to address one election meeting in a small block of Banka constituency a day ahead of NaMo’s Bhagalpur rally.
This is a significant departure from the heydays of National Democratic Alliance when Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, various Union ministers like George Fernandes, Yashwant Sinha, Sharad Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha, Dr C P Thakur etc would indulge in the carpet-bombing of Bihar.
Today some state level BJP leaders are campaigning but their presence has completely been marginalized in front of Narendra Modi.
Alliance partner Ram Vilas Paswan is getting some opportunity, but the problem is that the BJP rank and file are not whole-heartedly with him.