Who will win Bihar? While it may be a bit difficult to predict the exact verdict, one thing is clear and that is the equations have been changing from time to time. Parties have stepped up the ante and are on over-drive mode in their campaign.
The BJP says it is confident of a 2/3rds majority. However, it does not want to talk about it much as it feels that it could well lead to over-confidence.
GVL Narasimha Rao, the National Spokesperson of the BJP says that the party is confident of a majority. In this interview with OneIndia, Rao says that while the mantra is development, the BJP is confident that it could win a traditional election too.
What is the mood in the BJP where the Bihar elections are concerned?
The general mood in the party is that the party will consolidate more as the elections approach. It is going of well for now. A month back we felt that the NDA would get a majority. However, now with the campaigning by Narendra Modi, we feel that the BJP can touch the 2/3rd majority mark.
However, we do not want to talk much about it in public as it could lead to over-confidence and there is a lot of work that needs to still be done.
The Lalu-Nitish combine is leaving no stone unturned. Doesn't that worry you?
They are not natural allies. I feel that their coalition is bound to have problems. We have taken the sting out of them in a lot of ways. Hence there is nothing much for the BJP to worry about them.
Bihar is driven by social divisions. How do you propose to address that?
What the BJP has been attempting to is take away the caste driven factor and replace it with development. We have been able to give that kind of a tempo in our Bihar campaign. This is what is taking us miles ahead of the competition.
What if Bihar decides to vote the traditional way?
We have addressed that aspect as well. Even in a traditional election i.e. caste driven, we will still get a majority.
How can you be so confident?
No section of society in Bihar today feels that we do not support them. We have been able to considerably tone down the minority antagonization(sic) towards the BJP. Even among the backward and other castes we have addressed the issue. We have taken away the Dalit votes away from the rival camp.
The Yadavs have voted for the RJD traditionally. However, if you look at the recent Lok Sabha elections, the Yadavs voted for the BJP. We have done enough work and the strategy has all the ingredients of a win-win election.
How important a factor is Jitan Ram Manjhi?
He is a popular leader among the maha Dalits. That segment has alienated itself from the JD(U). Nitish Kumar basically in the past two years has undone a lot. First he broke up with the BJP. He then gave up his post of Chief Minister.
Further, he took Manjhi down as the CM and this resulted in him becoming a symbol of maha Dalit pride. Nitish on the other hand has become a villain in the maha Dalit camp.
Any talk on the who would be the Chief Minister if the BJP wins?
No there is no such talk. There is no discussion also on that front. Let the elections get over and then the party will decide.