Notwithstanding the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s magic in Bihar, overall morale of the BJP rank and file is not that high following “arbitrary” Lok Sabha ticket distribution for 30 seats, which the party is contesting in the state.
The BJP in Bihar appears to have not yet moved into poll mode leaving a big question mark on the tall claims of winning over 25 seats.
The RSS, which is considered the BJP’s backbone in Bihar, seems to be miffed with the party over ticket distribution, sources said. “There are about 20 candidates in the fray from the NDA, who had always abused the RSS. How will the BJP cadres go to people to ask for votes for such candidates?” asked a senior RSS functionary.
Constraining the BJP’s campaign in Bihar is the growing unease among the party’s Brahmin leadership.
The BJP ticket distribution has “forced” the Brahmin face of the party, Mr Ashwani Kumar Choube, into a tough contest from Buxar against sitting RJD MP Jagdanand Singh. “Mr Choube may find tough to step out of Buxar to campaign in other parts of the state, particularly in Mithlanchal. Same is the case with Bhumihar leader Giriraj Singh, who is in the fray from Nawada in place of his choice of Begusarai,” the sources said.
Also, top Bhumihar face of the BJP in Bihar, Mr C.P. Thakur, is learnt to be lying low in protest against “one upmanship” of senior party leader Sushil Kumar Modi, the sources added. The BJP face a tough struggle in Seemanchal areas if its Bhumihar leaders lie low.
Apparently sensing the trouble, LJP leader Suraj Bhan, whose wife Beena Devi is in fray from Munger Lok Sabha seat, recently made desperate attempts to persuade top state RSS functionaries for support, sources added.
In Mithilanchal, influential BJP MLAs, including Mr Vijay Kumar Mishra and Mr Vinod Narayan Jha, are keeping away from campaign in protest against the manner in which the Lok Sabha tickets were handed out, the sources said. The BJP had earlier got a jolt following veteran party leader Tara Kant Jha quitting to join the ruling JD(U).
“In the name of party discipline, the BJP cannot bulldoze the pride of grassroots workers, who swear by the RSS ideology. How will they go to people to ask for votes for a bahubali (muscle man), Rama Singh of the LJP, from Vaishali Lok Sabha seat?” asked a senior BJP leader.
The Bihar BJP leaders have begun talking in hushed voices about the party repeating the 2004 mistake of leaving everything on the “Atal Behari Vajpayee magic,” while ignoring party cadres. The result in 2004 Lok Sabha was a rude shock for the BJP.
Courtesy: The Asian Age