LJP decision to fight Bihar Assembly election alone would hurt Nitish Kumar as well as BJP. (File photo, Courtesy: keralakaumudi)

LJP targets Nitish to damage BJP in the long run

It is a classic case of “Kahin par nigahen, kahin par nishana” : the LJP Parliamentary Board’s resolution is definitely going to damage the BJP beyond repair.

The LJP (Lok Janshakti Party) Parliamentary Board’s October 4 decision to snap ties with the Janata Dal United, but at the same time praise the BJP to the sky, will in the long run damage the saffron party more than chief minister Nitish Kumar.

No doubt the poll prospect of the ruling Janata Dal United would be badly hit in at least two to three dozen seats, because of the LJP’s decision to field its candidates against all the JD-U’s nominees, the LJP Parliamentary Board’s resolution is definitely going to damage the saffron party beyond repair.

There is no dearth of political pundits who are of the view that the LJP is in fact dancing to the BJP’s tune to cut Nitish Kumar to size. But the logic put forward is fantastic. It is argued that in the post poll scenario the BJP would dump a weak Nitish and with the help of LJP form the government. What these analysts forget is that alone the LJP has no capability to win even a couple of seats. So, the question of BJP-LJP alliance after the election results do not arise.

It needs to be mentioned that in the 2015 Assembly election the BJP could win 53 out of 157 seats it contested. Its most powerful partner then, the LJP, could win only one though it fielded its nominees in 42 constituencies. The Hindustani Awam Morcha could also win only one seat out of 21 it fought. In comparison the RLSP, the fourth NDA constituent, bagged three seats though it put up candidates on 23 places.

If with the BJP support last time the LJP could win only one seat how can one expect it to win so many to help the saffron party form the government in the post poll scenario. The LJP, at best, has the capability to seriously damage the Janata Dal United, as it did to the RJD in 2005, but it on its own cannot win more than a couple of seats, even if it fields candidates in 243, and not 143 seats.

The anti-Nitish rhetoric and the allegation that the LJP has ideological differences with the Janata Dal United is being interpreted more seriously in the saffron camp than in Nitish’s own outfit. True, the LJP has not forgiven Nitish for not giving the Mahadalit status to Dussadhs or Paswans, the mainstay of the party, yet Ram Vilas and Chirag have problems with the BJP over the mistreatment of Dalits in the saffron party ruled states and some of the measures taken by the Centre.

But since both father and son want to enjoy double benefits, they are busy showering praise on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Why antagonise the BJP directly when it would greatly damage it by targeting the Bihar chief minister.

The LJP has mastered the art of hitting two birds with one stone.

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