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Double engine decoupled: Lack of JD(U)’s EBC bastion rattles BJP

In public remarks over Nitish Kumar’s transfer to finish their alliance, Bihar BJP leaders are calling it “good riddance”. However the parting of the way with the JD (U), its solely main ally within the NDA, has the BJP in a dilemma and the get together’s nationwide management is nervous as a result of the realignment in Bihar, an important Hindi heartland state, has the potential to jeopardize BJP calculations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Though the Bihar unit of the BJP all the time had a grudge towards Nitish and plenty of there checked out him with suspicion, the get together nationwide management, sources mentioned, maintained that the JD (U) chief would stay on the prime publish, no matter the arithmetic within the alliance tally. The BJP management, sources mentioned, was acutely aware of what the Kurmi chief might carry to the desk in an electoral check.

The BJP prime brass in Delhi didn’t provide any fast touch upon the developments in Patna after Nitish made his transfer.

Some BJP leaders imagine that Nitish could emerge as a binding drive for the Opposition since he has the potential to usher in extra regional events to a potential alliance.

Nitish, who was mentioned to have as soon as nursed prime ministerial ambitions, might be pitted towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the Opposition, BJP leaders mentioned. “Though he can’t match the recognition and acceptance of Prime Minister Modi, the Opposition, which is headless now, can re-emerge and achieve power. Whether or not it may well win the electoral check is a distinct matter,” a former BJP MP mentioned.

With the JD (U) breaking away, the BJP’s greatest concern will probably be its affect on the help base comprising the Most Backward Courses or Extraordinarily Backward Courses, which Nitish had introduced in for the BJP within the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the 2020 state elections. In Bihar, the place caste nonetheless issues in electoral battles, the mixture of Muslims and Yadavs (the normal help base of the RJD) with the MBC, which is 17 per cent, can create a major problem for the BJP.

In at the very least eight districts in Mithila and Magadh areas, the BJP had banked closely on Nitish’s goodwill to win the seats. The NDA received 39 of the 40 seats – 16 for JD (U), 17 for BJP and 6 for LJP – within the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Though the BJP maintains that the recognition of Prime Minister Modi and the welfare schemes initiated by his authorities on the Centre performed key roles in NDA wins within the two elections, senior get together leaders admit that Nitish’s departure could be “disastrous” if the BJP doesn’t play its playing cards rigorously in Bihar – it’s the solely japanese state the place it has had the arrogance of assured numbers, till now.

Sources indicated {that a} robust contest in Bihar might spoil the BJP’s nationwide methods too. Whereas the japanese and southern areas are troublesome for the BJP to safe a large variety of seats, the get together must rely closely on the northern and western areas within the normal election.

For now, the JD (U)’s exit means the lack of yet one more state for the NDA, but it surely doesn’t make any important distinction to it within the Lok Sabha the place it has a brute majority. Nonetheless, in Rajya Sabha, the place even the Shiv Sena’s three MPs are nonetheless with the Opposition, 5 members of JD (U) are anticipated to affix the Opposition. The BJP doesn’t have a majority within the Higher Home.

In line with get together sources, the BJP nationwide management will quickly “overview” the methods. There might be appointment of a brand new normal secretary in cost in addition to a rejig within the state organisation, sources mentioned.

“The BJP’s benefit is that it’s a robust organisation with roots on the floor degree and it has the equipment and community to implement any recent technique in a brief span of time. We now have sufficient time to refresh ourselves and may exit with a recent technique,” a senior BJP chief mentioned.

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