Power games | Nitish may bring son Nishant into politics

A section in Bihar feels that the JD(U) would soon disintegrate and disappear, with its remnants merging into other parties. But Nitish seems to have worked out plans to keep the party intact and in power.
Power games | Nitish may bring son Nishant into politics

Son-Rise in Bihar

Nitish may bring son Nishant into politics

Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar is likely to give a political assignment to his son Nishant Kumar. There are reports about Nitish’s health deteriorating. This has fuelled speculations about the future of the JD(U). A section in Bihar feels that the JD(U) would soon disintegrate and disappear, with its remnants merging into other parties. But Nitish seems to have worked out plans to keep the party intact and in power. Sources say he has already put in place a reorganisation plan for the party.

As per this plan, Nitish would hand over the reins of the party to his trusted lieutenant Shrawan Kumar, who is currently the rural development minister in Bihar. Shrawan is one the closest aides of Nitish. He is involved in key political decisions and he was stationed in Uttar Pradesh when Nitish was part of INDIA bloc and was reportedly preparing to contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.

Shrawan’s elevation as party president will be accompanied with a soft political launch of the 49-year-old Nishant. Nishant, an engineering graduate like his father, lives with Nitish but has kept away from politics. He has, however, lately been seen accompanying his father on various trips. The father-son duo recently visited their home district, Nalanda, where they prayed at a temple together and attended social and political functions.

Nishant’s entry into politics would see Nitish, who has been vociferously against bringing family into politics, doing one more flip. His frequent flips have earned him a moniker Paltu Ram. He had recently attacked Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav for promoting his family. “Apne hatey to bibi ko mukhyamantri bana diye. Inhone 9 beta beti paida kiya, kitna beta beti ko bana diya. Hum log parivarvaad ko badhawa nahi dete; sab ko apna parivar mante hain,” he said.

Course Correction

BJP junked 400 par slogan to activate cadres

The BJP started its 2024 Lok Sabha campaign with the slogan ‘Ab Ki Bar, 400 Par’. The party’s top leaders claimed that the BJP will win 370 seats on its own and the NDA will cross 400. They said the nation will honour Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s revocation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir by giving the BJP 370 seats in the Lok Sabha. However, after the polling for the first two phases, the party leadership felt that the slogan had made its workers complacent as they took victory in the election as a foregone conclusion.

There were also constituencies where party workers and local leaders were not happy with the candidates and did not go out to campaign with full force. Sensing that the absence of zeal among workers could potentially hurt its prospects, the party reportedly went for a course correction mid-way through the election by steering away from the claim of winning 400 seats and focusing on mobilising workers and injecting josh into them. The party leadership appears satisfied with the workers’ participation in the subsequent phases.

Shahid Faridi
The writer is Resident Editor, TNIE, New Delhi.
Follow him on X @Shahid_Faridi_

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