BJP cool to Nitish drive

Chief minister Nitish Kumar's latest social drive against child marriage and dowry has met with a lukewarm response from the ally BJP.

By Dipak Mishra in Patna
  • Published 17.10.17
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Patna: Chief minister Nitish Kumar's latest social drive against child marriage and dowry has met with a lukewarm response from the ally BJP.

Unlike the first innings of the NDA regime in Bihar when BJP leaders used to beat JDU leaders in participating in campaigns whenever Nitish announced one, this time the BJP seems to have decided to not show the same vim.

"Every party carves out its own agenda," said Nitin Navin, BJP MLA from Bankipore. "We are a national party and have launched several social drives like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. The JDU has its own agenda, but the efforts of both ally parties should be economic and social development of the state."

When Nitish launched the campaign on October 2, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was also present.

"When the program was being launched Modi ji was present and gave his full support," said JDU spokesperson Neeraj Kumar. "We presume that the BJP is fully backing our campaign."

A senior BJP leader, however, hinted that the power equation has changed. "When Nitish launched his agitation for special status for Bihar after 2010, he made sure that the BJP did not participate despite the fact that there was an alliance. The BJP had to launch a separate stir," the BJP leader pointed out.

BJP legislators had contributed with their salaries even in the planting trees campaign. However, when the CM appealed for donations for flood relief all BJP legislators submitted cheques to Modi. The BJP has been going ahead with its own programmes aimed at expanding its social base among the extremely backward castes and Dalits. Both parties as of now are taking about contesting all 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state on their own.

"Ultimately there should be an alliance in the polls, but this time we are in no mood to concede to every demand of the JDU," a BJP leader said.