Union Home Minister Amit Shah is set to visit Bihar on October 11 to commemorate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter, socialist and anti-Emergency icon JP Narayan who became instrumental in toppling the Indira Gandhi government in 1977. During his visit, Shah will travel to Sitab Diara, the birthplace of JPN as the leader was popularly known.
This would be Amit Shah’s second visit to Bihar in the last 20 days, with the BJP looking at claiming the legacy of JP Narayan by targeting Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar, the “products” of the JPN movement.
Party sources say Shah would be going back to Varanasi after the event and has decided to visit Bihar at least once a month to energise the organisation ahead of upcoming bypolls and urban local body elections. The two bypolls – Gopalganj and Mokama – will be big popularity tests for the JDU-RJD alliance ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Gopalganj seat fell vacant following the death of BJP MLA Subhash Singh, while Mokama will go to polls after Anant Singh from the RJD was convicted in an arms case and disqualified as MLA.
Speaking to News18 about Amit Shah’s visit to the state, Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal said those who claim to be “products” of the JP movement “went pleading to the Gandhi family for support”.
“JP’s so-called students go to Sonia Gandhi and flash a victory sign after meeting her as though they won the world… JP said that his dream of Sampoorna Kranti will be realised when the son of a poor person will become the PM. It is PM Modi who made this dream possible and not raja ke bete who go to family-driven parties, don’t get a response and yet they feel elated," he said.
Jaiswal said this isn’t the first time BJP leaders are marking JP Narayan’s birth anniversary. “In 2005, the late Ananth Kumar promised to come to JP’s birthplace every year and he kept that promise till his death," added the BJP leader.
Shah was recently in Seemanchal on a two-day tour where he addressed two big rallies and core group meeting for the first time since the BJP-JDU break-up. Many in the party believe Shah’s second visit to Bihar in 20 days may make the state’s ruling coalition uneasy.
Planning to fight alone in Bihar in the next General Elections, the BJP is eyeing a repeat of the 2019 results when it won 39 of 40 seats.