The ultimate aim of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is to decimate Lalu Prasad’s RJD, BJP’s Bihar president Sanjay Jaiswal has claimed, making it clear that the BJP faces no challenge after the erstwhile ‘Bade Bhai’ snapped ties and cobbled an alliance with the RJD and other parties.
In an exclusive interview to Indian Express, Jaiswal said Kumar was always keen to know about the cases filed against RJD leaders and with the arrest of Bhola Yadav, Lalu Prasad’s former aide, the chief minister considers it the “right time” to destroy RJD. “He thinks once the leadership is gone, RJD voters will come to JD(U),” he said.
Crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for reversing the fortunes of the NDA in Bihar, Jaiswal said Mithila and Magadh regions of the state, which have a sizeable Extremely Backward Classes (EBC) voter base, were won over by the prime minister’s efforts.
He added that Modi’s popularity would transcend caste barriers in the state and in the 2025 assembly polls, the BJP will form a government on its own.
Jaiswal also rubbished buzz of Nitish Kumar being propped up as the Opposition candidate against PM Modi. Taking a dig at the chief minister, Jaiswal asked: “How can a leader who cannot even (win) one-third seats in his state on his own be pitched against Narendra Modi?”
Terming Kumar a habitual Paltu Ram (turncoat) — a moniker coined by Lalu Prasad — Jaiswal said the JD(U) chief’s issues cropped up when he was questioned about “genuine issues” such as internal security, non-implementation of crop insurance scheme, and Har Ghar Nal Yojana. “He felt why should Narendra Modi get all the credit,” the BJP leader said.
Jaiswal said the indication of ties souring was when Kumar shifted from 1-Anne Marg (CM’s residence) to be Tejashwi Yadav’s neighbour. He added that the chief minister did not like it when the Centre took steps for the state’s development.
Reminding Kumar of his long association with the BJP and how the party helped him achieve success, Jaiswal said the saffron party came to Kumar’s aid when he had only six seats in 1998. “When he had 33 and we had 67 seats, we put him at the top. In 2005, too, when we won more seats, we put him as the Chief Minister. His party was not ready to make him CM (but) BJP leaders like Pramod Mahajan, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley pitched him for the post,” he said.
The BJP leader said the party was afraid the state would once again fall into the trap of corruption with Tejashwi Yadav in power and the successes of the past few years would be undone by the alliance falling apart.