Millennium Post

Lalu to gain as contest reduced to Modi vs ‘secular’ wrangle

Lalu to gain as contest reduced to Modi vs ‘secular’ wrangle
BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi, RJD strongman Lalu Yadav, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, among many others, have addressed public meetings, not just in the district headquarters but also in the interiors. As the discourse is evolving, the votes belonging to the minorities are getting increasingly christened as secular, as if there aren’t any ‘secular’
voters among the majority community.

If the projection by the non-BJP parties especially the Congress-RJD alliance is anything to go by, they do not have any hope of support from communities outside the Muslims and Yadavs to look forward to. ‘At best the community of the candidate would vote for RJD-Cong, if he happens to be outside the M-Y combination, as in case of Bhagalpur,’ says Alok Kumar, a young entrepreneur who left a career in entertainment industry to harvest fruits of Nitish Kumar’s development module.
Though BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is careful not to stir the communal cauldron, his protégés are leaving nothing to the chance. If we have Amit Shah in Uttar Pradesh, there is former minister Giriraj Singh in Bihar. To give a push to polarisation of votes on the Hindu-Muslim lines, Singh went public saying that those who do not support Modi as prime minister are Pakistan sympathisers. None in the BJP state leadership has really cared to come out with any clarification on Giriraj Singh’s utterings.

In the hustle bustle of communal and caste politics is lost the cause of development especially the Bihar model. While Modi’s Gujarat model is being flaunted by BJP leadership, they care little to talk about their own state’s development, of which they were a part and parcel till just about a year back. Even party’s candidate from Ara seat, former home secretary RK Singh, who as road secretary in the initial years of Nitish government drew the road map of development, prefers to remain silent on the matter. Such are the demands of politics.

Nitish Kumar, on his part, feels let down especially by the minority community, which according to the indications has preferred to return to Lalu Yadav than reward Nitish for his ‘courage’ to break JD(U)’s alliance with the BJP. Nitish for past several years has been vocal in his opposition to the elevation of Narendra Modi and has even risked the survival of his government snapping ties with the BJP.

However, his step doesn’t seem to have added any confidence quotient among the minorities about Nitish’s ability to remain at a distance from the BJP, after all he was their ally for a decade-and-a-half. At his public meetings Kumar is at pains to roll out the achievements of his government on the development front but is anybody listening?
Sidharth Mishra

Sidharth Mishra

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