Poster pointer to changing politics

Where's the CM?

By Dipak Mishra in Patna
  • Published 15.10.17
A poster put up at the Income Tax roundabout in Patna on Saturday shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leaders. Pictures by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna, Oct. 14: The change of equation between the BJP and the JDU was visible on the roads of Patna today.

BJP leaders had painted the city saffron with posters welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had put up posters of his own in several localities from where the Prime Minister passed on his way to the Patna University function. All these posters carried portraits of Narendra Modi and other Bihar BJP leaders - Sushil Kumar Modi, Nand Kishore Yadav, Ram Kripal Yadav and Prem Kumar among others. But not one of these carried Nitish Kumar's picture. The only posters that had Nitish as well as the Prime Minister were the ones put up by Patna University.

It's a far cry from the NDA-I days, when Nitish's photograph used to figure in virtually every poster put up by the BJP on special occasions. The JDU leaders joked that the BJP then depended on Nitish to attract crowds.

Putting up photographs of Narendra Modi, who was then the Gujarat chief minister, was unthinkable. "Let alone Narendra Modi's photograph, even taking his name at public functions after 2010, when Nitish suddenly cancelled a dinner invitation to BJP leaders, was forbidden," recalled a senior BJP leader, stressing that the BJP was then eager to keep Nitish in good humour.

One of the posters put up by Patna University features chief minister Nitish Kumar

However, the dynamics of NDA-II changed all that. BJP leaders point out that they had been asked to keep Nitish out of party functions and activities. "There is a deliberate effort this time to not allow Nitish to take credit for all the work and projects," a BJP leader conceded.

During the last Assembly election in 2015, the JDU had launched a huge poster war across the state. Posters with slogans like " Bihar mein bahar hai" showed Nitish Kumar but not allies like RJD chief Lalu Prasad. "Nitish is being paid in his own coin," said an RJD leader.