PATNA: ‘Ab ki baar, 200 ke paar.’ That’s the slogan, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) has coined to take on a heavily-divided Opposition, led by the Congress-RJD combine, in the Bihar Assembly polls this year.The slogan was coined on Makar Sankranti, the day for fresh beginnings.
The JD(U) set the ball rolling for ‘first preference’ at the sweepstakes with its national vice president Prashant Kishor declaring that the party will bid for ‘above parity’ with claims to 125 seats in the 243 man house.
The Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP, too, has put forward claims to 43 seats. The BJP is yet to open its cards, though murmurings have surfaced.
BJP leader Sanjay Paswan recently said that given the fatigue with Kumar, the BJP should insist on its CM. A probing call, Paswan’s sentiment came despite BJP president Amit Shah indicating that the NDA would fight under the leadership of Kumar.
“JD(U)’s slogan ‘200 ke paar’ is eminently achievable,” said a top party leader, adding, ‘that can only be with the BJP.’
He added, “Lalu Prasad being in jail is a huge advantage, for RJD under him can ensure 100% unanimity of Yadavs (15%) and Muslims (17%) before adding other votes.
The Opposition divide, in the meanwhile, has become more pronounced with RJD allies’ uncomfortable with Tejashwi Prasad Yadav as the combined CM face. The Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP has threatened to contest 50 seats; Jitan Ram Manjhi, another 80, while even Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) wishes to fight 30.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said his party was looking forward to contesting the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls in alliance with the Congress, with which it has shared a long partnership