PATNA: Regardless of who wins in Bengal and Assam elections, the outcome will have an impact on the BJP-JD(U) alliance in Bihar. The ruling JD-U has decided to contest over 22 seats in Bengal and 32 in Assam, mostly in “friendly fights” with the BJP.
JD-U sources said the party became more aggressive in the two states after six of its MLAs defected to the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh late last year. The party in these two states is focusing on voters who migrated from Bihar, UP and Jharkhand. As per a rough estimate, around 5% of the electorate in Assam and West Bengal are migrant voters.
“The JD-U is not dependent on the Hindi-speaking voters alone; the Nitish Kumar model of development and governance is widely appreciated by the people of the two states. So, the party has an electoral base,” said Sanjay Verma, party in-charge of Northeast.
Sources in various parties in Bihar went to the extent of saying that the results of Bengal and Assam would decide the survival of the NDA government in Bihar. Many observers believe that if the BJP comes to power in West Bengal and Assam, then its dominance in the Bihar government will also grow.
“The JD-U has grown vindictive after the Arunachal episode,” said a senior politician, pointing to some recent statements of JD-U and BJP that reflect the growing mistrust. Sometime back, JD-U’s former MLA Shayam Bahadur Singh had told party workers to strengthen Nitish and the party as no one knew how long the alliance would survive.