New Delhi, July 25: The Bihar assembly elections will be a hard fought one. There are several stake holders and each party would attempt to outdo each other in this battle for Bihar. For the BJP this is a crucial election and as it battles the big-wigs such as Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav.
The BJP says that it expects to win the Bihar elections and also says that a lot has changed in the past couple of months. G V L N Rao, the National spokesperson for the BJP says that a few months back the Nitish-Lalu alliance looked formidable, but a lot has changed now. Rao in this interview with OneIndia says that the BJP is confident that it will take Bihar hands down.
We expect to win Bihar now. A couple of months back the alliance of Lalu and Nitish looked formidable and strong. However a lot has changed in that alliance today. Exits polls do show that the JD(U) is slightly ahead today, but we are confident that the trend would change.
The alliance of Lalu and Nitish does not seem to be working out. It would be a keenly contested election and at the end of it we are confident that the BJP would emerge as the winners.
What will the BJP focus on during the campaign?
The BJP will need to put in a lot of hard work all through the campaign. Bihar is never an easy state to win, but it is not insurmountable. It is all a question of how we keep out campaign focused on both governance and the leadership of the Prime Minister. There has to be deft caste and political management.
How important is the Jiten Ram Manjhi factor?
The Jiten Ram Manjhi factor is very important. We have not worked out anything as yet with him. He is a friendly party and something will be worked out with him. What Manjhi has managed to do so far is take away a chunk of the JD(U) votes.
Both the RJD and the JD(U) are seeing a vote erosion now. While the BJP will not have a truck with Pappu Yadav, the question of Manjhi is still un-resolved. In the case of Manjhi the BJP is keen, but then we would like to contest a large number of the seats by ourselves.
What about the Paswan factor?
Paswan is part of a friendly alliance partner. There will be no hitches at all where he is concerned. What I would like to point out here is that none will rock the NDA boat. It will be a smooth ride for the NDA going into the elections at Bihar.
However we do expect a lot of hiccups in the rival coalition. The JD(U) and the RJD boat will rock for a lot of reasons. There will be questions as to who would contest how many seats. Both Lalu and Nitish would want to increase their visibility in Bihar. The RJD would want to ensure that they come out on top during the Bihar elections.
Will the Congress intervene?
The Congress intervention into this matter is extremely limited. The very fact that Lalu Yadav avoided attending the Iftar party hosted by Sonia Gandhi says a lot. However in the case of the NDA, the supremacy of the BJP is established.
Are you banking on the RJD-JD(U) boat rocking?
Not just that. The NDA has a harmonious coalition. There are no parties in the NDA coalition which will pull each other in different directions. The JD(U) and the RJD have contrasting images and their coalition will not be a smooth affair.
In the case of the NDA we have a leadership which is acceptable to all.
What about Ram Vilas Paswan? What if he stakes a claim to the chair of the CM?
Paswan has no ambition to become Chief Minister of Bihar. He is happy at the centre. The BJP has no issues problems at all with its coalition partners.