Janata Dal United National President Rajiv Ranjan, known among his supporters as Lallan Singh, today alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s coming visit to Bihar will be an attempt to disturb communal harmony. He also said his party will win all 40 parliamentary seats in the state in the 2024 general elections. The BJP, he added, “started with two seats and will be back there soon”.
Nitish Kumar is being seen as a likely face of the opposition in 2024 since he ended the alliance with the BJP last month and formed government with Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress and several smaller parties.
He is set to come to Delhi tomorrow to meet the other opposition leaders.
Asked about the visit, and the BJP comment that there is “no vacancy for the Prime Minister’s post in 2024”, Rajiv Ranjan got irked. “Let them talk. They started with the figure 2 and that’s where they will get back,” he added.
On Saturday, his boss had predicted 50 seats for the BJP. The BJP “will come down to 50 seats” in the 2024 elections “if all Opposition parties fight together… I am working for that,” Mr Kumar had said.
Today Nitish Kumar sounded more cautious.
“If all the regional parities come together and fight elections together then we will get the success. But we are not talking of any numbers,” he told reporters after the Executive Committee meeting.
The BJP has been busy chalking up its strategy for Bihar. Its local leaders, including Sushil Modi — the former Deputy of Mr Kumar – have predicted that Mr Kumar will lose further ground in the state in 2024, “forget about being the Prime Minister”.
As part of BJP’s new strategy for Bihar, Amit Shah is expected to visit the state’s Seemanchal region on September 23-24. He is likely to hold a rally in the Purnia district on September 23 and organisational meetings in Kishanganj the next day.
Asked about the visit, Rajiv Ranjan said, “Amit Shah will come and across the country and in Bihar, he will try to spoil communal harmony. The people of Bihar are careful. He will make no headway”.
Seemanchal is a Muslim-dominated belt where the Grand Alliance has a strong presence.
A few months ago, four MLAs from Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) – had jumped ship and joined Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD.