Chary of ruining their electoral prospects by alienating minorities, senior leaders of Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), have conveyed to top bosses of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), their electoral ally in Bihar, that there would be no joint rallies during the ongoing election campaign in that state.
Earlier, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had publicly said there was no need for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to campaign in the Bihar elections.
Sources in the JD(U) said that the decision to keep the BJP at an arm’s length was conveyed while forming a strategy for Bihar election campaign and that is primarily the reason why even after polling for two phases was completed on Sunday, the two partners of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have not shared dais in Bihar so far.
Soon after the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit it was conveyed to the BJP leadership that there was no point in having a joint rally because it might not just backfire for the Nitish Kumar-led government on sharing the platform with senior leadership of the BJP but also the Opposition parties would definitely try to take advantage out of it.
“We will not gain anything if there is a joint rally but there is a huge chance that some communities in Bihar would be upset on seeing JD(U) leaders and senior BJP leaders like L K Advani sharing the stage together. Since there is nothing to gain and everything to lose, why should we allow a joint rally?” questioned a senior JD(U) leader who left for campaigning in Bihar recently.
He added that there would be no joint rally in the remaining four phases of elections as well.
Senor members of the JD(U) also emphasised that even as some senior BJP leaders have been camping in Bihar there was a huge demand from both the BJP and JD(U) candidates who want either Nitish Kumar or Sharad Yadav, the JD(U) chief, in their constituencies.
“In the past two phases of Assembly elections in Bihar, Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav had campaigned in more than 90 seats. They are being invited by both JD(U) and BJP. The candidates want to send a message that they have access to the chief minister so they can get the work done for their constituencies.
The message was send to the top leadership of Bihar to maintain a low profile and try not to upset any community. The senior BJP leader have only made flying visits in Bihar so far,” added the JD(U) leader.
The JD(U) leadership have stressed the issue that should surround Bihar elections must be development and there should be no attempt to allow different communities, especially Hindus and Muslims, to consolidate with different political parties and change the focus of Bihar elections.