In Bihar, where Nitish Kumar, the state’s chief minister, broke off his alliance with the BJP in August to form the government with the support of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, and the Left parties, top BJP officials are slated to visit this month.
Prior to the 2024 presidential elections, Bihar is still the BJP’s top priority, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The only state in the Hindi Belt where BJP has been unable to create a government on its own or grow the organisation is Bihar, which sends 40 members to Parliament.
On September 23, Bihar will be visited by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. On September 18, his cabinet colleague Smriti Irani is scheduled to attend a book launch there to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The Iranian visit is a different one. Shah’s visit is a regular component of BJP outreach. Programs at Seemanchal have been planned for a very long time, and more are being prepared now. Sanjay Jaiswal, leader of the Bihar BJP, remarked, “Our operations never cease. He denied any connection between Shah’s visit to the predominantly Muslim state of Seemanchal and the BJP’s reported efforts to divide the region along religious lines.
The BJP, according to Jaiswal, will host a fortnight-long outreach programme commencing on September 17, the day after Prime Minister Modi’s birthday, to engage the public. A special Covid vaccination push to distribute three million doses in honour of Prime Minister Modi’s birthday was announced by the chief minister Nitish Kumar last year.
Shah will make his first trip to Seemanchal since Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), severed ties with the BJP. He will speak at two rallies in Purnea and Kishanganj in addition to attending a meeting of the BJP’s core committee.
In Bihar, the BJP hopes to get 35 seats in the national elections in 2024. In an alliance with the JD (U) and other parties, the BJP won 39 of the 40 seats in 2019.
Shah’s visit, according to analyst DM Diwakar, demonstrates the BJP is working on a strategy and may want to polarise voters. “Seemanchal has constituencies where a party like the AIMIM [All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen] managed to gain seats in the 2015 [assembly polls],”
In order to energise the party before Shah’s visit, Union Minister Nityanand Rai, Jaiswal, and former Deputy Chief Minister Tarkeshwar Prasad travelled to Seemanchal and held talks.
“Nitish Kumar’s credibility has declined. No matter where he travels, he must follow Lalu Prasad Yadav, the leader of the RJD. He is no longer important to us. We are a party of workers, and instead of pursuing personal interests, we will continue to strive for Bihar’s advancement. Despite Kumar’s consistently declining graph, we have the biggest respect for him, but perhaps he didn’t deserve it,” added Rai.