PATNA: Senior leaders of Bihar's ruling grand alliance including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will address public rallies in the state on Saturday to set the tone for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
While the grand alliance will hold a rally in Purnea, BJP will hold its rally in Valmikinagar, which lies in close proximity to the border of Uttar Pradesh and Nepal.
Valmikinagar constituency is presently represented by JD (U) MP Baidyanath Prasad Mahto in Lok
Sabha. So, BJP will like to wrest the seat from JD (U).
On the other hand, Purnea is also not less politically significant as it is part of the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal region of the state, close to the border of West Bengal. After Nitish snapped ties with BJP last August, Shah had addressed his first public rally in Purnea.
These rallies are seen as a show of strength by both the grand alliance and BJP.
Shah's rally will not only help infuse new energy in the party`s rank and file in Valimikinagar but also in adjoining seats. The rally is also being held against the backdrop of Nitish Kumar`s JD (U) suffering a jolt with the exit of its senior party leader Upendra Kushwaha. BJP is seemingly trying to broaden its support base through leaders like Kushwaha, LJP (Ram Vilas) chief and MP Chirag Paswan and Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) supremo and former minister Mukesh Sahni.
Although deputy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav sought to put to rest all speculations over the post of CM, the confusion over the issue continues. Nitish has already declared that he will move to national politics and stitch together an alliance of as many opposition parties as possible to stop the BJP`s juggernaut in 2024.
Nitish has only said that the grand alliance will contest the 2025 state assembly election under the leadership of Tejashwi but he has not given a time frame for when he will pass on the baton to the RJD scion.
Some RJD leaders are even creating an impression that there will be a change of guard in Bihar soon but Tejashwi made it clear that he was not in any hurry to become CM.
The Purnia rally will help both RJD and JD (U) to showcase their ‘unity’ and also tell other allies of the grand alliance and also BJP that there is no bickering over the issue of transfer of power in the state.
The grand alliance had lost two of three by-elections in the state post-split and so its rally in Purnea will be a platform for all constituents of the grand alliance to send a message to their respective core voters that their alliance is stable.
If the grand alliance succeeds in convincing their voters across various social groups, it will help transfer votes from one party to another party without any major problem in the Lok Sabha election as well as the state assembly election in 2025.
The grand alliance constitutes RJD, JD (U), Congress, CPI (ML), CPI, CPI (M) and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi led Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).