NEW DELHI: With Bihar scheduled to go to the polls in a few months’ time, the BJP is watching the developments in the opposite camp comprising Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav with keen interest. The saffron party feels that the merger of Janata Parivar outfits would pose a challenge to it in the state polls.
Narendra Modi-led NDA Government is also likely to announce its package soon for the state just in time before the elections.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav had already announced that the JD(U) and the RJD, along with like-minded parties like the Congress and the NCP, would jointly contest the Bihar polls.
While expressing confidence about the BJP’s chances of victory in the coming elections, a senior BJP leader said the party would face a major challenge if the JD(U) and RJD were to merge.
Party sources said the merger would strengthen Nitish Kumar.
“Nitish seems keen on a merger than an alliance with Lalu. An alliance will not work, but a merger may be difficult for the BJP, as it will have to work harder, but we will win,” the BJP leader asserted.
The saffron party dismissed speculations of Lalu Prasad trying to open channels of discussions with it, saying their mutual animosity went back a long way.
The BJP too was trying to dangle a carrot in front of the Janata Parivar parties so that their cracks remained in the open for long.
Both Nitish and Lalu are trying to build pressure on each other so that they get more seats during the elections, but the merger would strengthen them. Now, Sharad has said that they would fight as alliance partners.
The BJP said they were open to former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, as the more he gets strengthened the more the BJP would benefit. The party, however, is non-committal on any truck with former RJD MP Pappu Yadav, saying he was trying to hedge bets with the Congress also.
The BJP is hoping that factors like the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, return of Indian workers from Yemen and Syria will help the saffron party get a lead over the Nitish-Lalu combine.