Race for Bihar BJP chief hots up with names in aftermath of break up with JDU

The party central leadership has decided in principle to appoint a new president for the Bihar unit of the party either from an EBC or SC to challenge Nitish Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan.

Published: 08th September 2022 10:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2022 10:52 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In the aftermath of the recent alliance break-up with JDU, the Bharatiya Janata Party high command has started wider consultations to finalise a name for the Bihar party chief by the end of September.

The three-year term of the present chief of Bihar BJP Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, an MP from Bihar West Champaran, will end in October. Though Dr Jaiswal belongs to OBC-Vaish (trader) community, BJP is unlikely to give him a second term on the post. However, there is a possibility that Jaiswal may get inducted into the union cabinet representing the vaish-community, which is considered as BJP’s core vote bank.

According to sources, the party central leadership has decided in principle to appoint a new president for the Bihar unit of the party either from an extremely backward class (EBC) or the Schedule Caste (SC) to challenge the political hegemony of Nitish Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan.

"Bihar has come under the party’s topmost priority after the break-up of alliance with JDU. In the last few days, the central leadership has talked about appointing the new state president who can aggressively and argumentatively put a major challenge before Nitish Kumar ahead of the 2024 election", a senior party leader said.

Speaking to TNIE, some reliable sources in BJP hinted that one of the prominent names for the new party chief is Ajay Nishad. Ajay is a two-time MP from Muzaffarpur and belongs to the Nishad community, which falls under the EBC category. He is said to be a strong contender for the post in Bihar. His father (late) Captain JN Nishad was also a five-time MP from Muzaffarpur.

Ajay is said to have a strong hold on the ‘nishad’ (fisherman) community, which constitutes around 14 per cent of Bihar’s population.

The second contender racing ahead among others is former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, who after the recent alliance break up with JDU has become more vocal against Nitish Kumar and RJD. He is said to be a running "encyclopaedia of facts and figures" on corruption in the Opposition party.

He has also authored a book titled "Lalu Leela", which details charges of corruption against RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family members.

Other prominent names doing the rounds for the Bihar BJP chief are Janak Ram, an MP from Gopalganj, Nawal Kishor Yadav, a member of Bihar Legislative Council, and Samrat Choudhary, an MLC.

Samrat had also been the vice president of the party. He defected to BJP from RJD with 13 MLAs in 2014 because of his political clouts.

Yadav is known for being vocal with sharp and pinching comments against the Opposition.  

The chance of the state president being appointed from an upper caste is very low as politics in Bihar thrive on the caste equation.

"It is almost sure one of these names would soon be finalised by the party high command", a BJP source said.

Upon being asked, national media in-charge and MP in RS Anil Baluni only said that the new party president for Bihar BJP would soon be appointed but feigned ignorance on the names doing the rounds.


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