Interview: Expect a JD(U)-RJD split in Bihar, says BJP spokesperson

Bengaluru, Feb 20: The Bihar crisis appears to have ended for now, but many would say that it is just the beginning of further commotion that is likely to follow. Nitish Kumar is likely to stake a claim to form the government.

The BJP had plan in mind when it decided to announce its support to Jitan Ram Manjhi the former Chief Minister of Bihar who resigned ahead of a trust vote in the Bihar Legislative Assembly.

Expect a JD(U)-RJD split in Bihar: Rao

According to G V Narasimha Rao, official spokesperson of the BJP, it is a win-win situation in Bihar for them. The real commotion will begin when Nitish Kumar takes over as Chief Minister and this will lead to a major rift in the JD(U)-RJD combine he says in this interview with Oneindia.

Oneindia: Why did the BJP decide to support Jitan Ram Manjhi?

Rao: I think we supported Manjhi so that we could send across a larger message to the Dalit people of Bihar that we believe in social justice. What Nitish Kumar has essentially conveyed in the Manjhi issue is that he is anti-Dalit.

Oneindia: Will the maha Dalits support the BJP now?

Rao: Yes we are hopeful that they will. Nitish Kumar had tried to build a constituency dividing the Dalits and the Maha Dalits. His idea of making Manjhi the Chief Minister in the first place was to build a Maha Dalit vote bank.

However, he has now shown that he is anti Dalit. The Maha Dalits will come out and support the BJP now. The BJP has acquired that social justice platform which is a very important issue.

By taking Manjhi along we have taken that social justice platform away from the RJD and the JD(U).

Oneindia: What do you foresee next in Bihar?

Rao: I think it is now for the Governor to decide. One can only speculate now how things would turn out.

Oneindia: Does it suit the BJP if Nitish becomes chief minister now?

Rao: It suits us if Nitish were to become the CM. He still has nine months to go before the elections are announced in Bihar.
There is a lot that would happen once Nitish becomes the CM.

He will find it extremely difficult to carry forward the new policies and announcements made by Manjhi. This will ensure that he is seen as anti poor and anti Dalit.

The other development would surely be a rift in the JD(U)-RJD combine. One must not forget that when Nitish was the CM there was a lot of anger among the Yadavs. This would lead to contradictions within the coalition.

Further, Nitish would go to the polls with the anti-incumbency factor behind him. He cannot play the victim card before the voter and this is a win-win situation for us.

Oneindia: Would the BJP have preferred immediate elections?

Rao: The BJP would not have wanted an immediate election. We have sent the message that we wanted to send. We will go to the polls strong and would not be weighed down by anti-incumbency.

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