Narendra Modi, who sold tea at train stations in his youth, led the party to a stunning victory in the national elections in May.
Supporters of Nand Kishore Yadav, a top Bihar leader for the BJP, say he will deliver similar results in the state. Nand Kishore, 61, has won five consecutive elections from his constituency on the outskirts of the state capital of Patna. At one time, the politician worked at a canteen owned by his relative in a local cinema. “He served tea and samosas,” say those who want him to be placed in charge of the BJP’s campaign in Bihar.
“Yes I did everything from serving tea to samosas but that can’t be the sole criterion for selecting anyone,” Nand Kishore said, emphasizing that the party’s top leaders will decide on his role in the election.
He was a member of the cabinet of Nitish Kumar, who quit as chief minister after the national elections, in which his party was reduced to just two of the state’s 40 parliamentary seats; the BJP, powered by Mr Modi, won 31 with its allies. (Decision to Quit Took Courage, Says Nitish Kumar )
Sources in the BJP say that the party will most likely give top billing for the state election to Sushil Kumar Modi, the 61-year-old who served as Nitish Kumar’s Deputy Chief Minister in the coalition government run by the BJP and the Janata Dal United till late last year.
Nitish Kumar then amputated their 17-year alliance over the BJP’s decision to place Narendra Modi at the centre of its national campaign. The divorce meant that the BJP was forced out of the state government.
At a recent meeting, Sushil Kumar Modi told party workers that they must urge voters to give them “a pyjama” by voting for the BJP in the state election to go with the “kurta” they have already provided by supporting the party in the national election.