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Two parties, one voice: Why Bihar BJP, RJD want Nitish to be next Prez

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Patna, June 12 (Ajit Weekly News) After the announcement of the presidential poll schedule, the name of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is once again being floated for Rashtrapati Bhavan. Interestingly, while the prominent leaders of his own party JD-U are projecting him as the ideal candidate for the post of president of India, the BJP and the RJD are supporting him.

Sharawan Kumar, rural development minister in the Nitish Kumar government, projected him first on June 9 followed by Ashok Chaudhary, minister for the construction ministry.

“Nitish Kumar has all the abilities to become the president of the country,” Sharawan Kumar said.

“Being a Bihari, I wish that Nitish Kumar will become president of India. He has brought extremely backward Bihar back on track and if he is given a chance to work as president of India, he will put in all his efforts to bring the country forward in the world,” Kumar said.

“Nitish Kumar is not in the race for the post of president but every person would want him to become the president of the country. He is a better candidate for the post of president and he can bear the responsibility well,” Kumar added.

Ashok Chaudhary said: “We have no better socialist leader in the country than Nitish Kumar. He has the ability to hold the post of president of India and he has acceptance not only within the party but with leaders of other parties as well. Everyone knows his clean and transparent politics in the country but that does not mean he is a claimant for the presidency.”

“In politics, everything is possible. The decisions and moves are being taken according to the political circumstances at that time. We have several examples where numbers are not favouring many leaders but they held the highest post like Prime Minister in the country,” Chaudhary said.

Even BJP leaders are in favour of Nitish Kumar becoming the president.

Amrendra Pratap Singh, a BJP leader and Bihar agriculture minister, said: “It’s up to the NDA to decide who would be the ideal candidate for president of India. At the same time, I must say Nitish Kumar has had a long political career and has the experience and ability to hold the post.”

Prem Ranjan Patel, another BJP leader and spokesperson said: “There are so many people in the country having experience and ability to hold the post. Our PM Narendra Modi and leaders of the alliance partners of the NDA will sit together to select the candidate for the post of president.”

The RJD is also in favour of Nitish Kumar becoming the president.

“NDA leaders are projecting Nitish Kumar as a candidate for the president’s post which is entirely their internal issue. As far as the RJD is concerned, if any leader of Bihar is elected as the president, it would be an honour for the state. After Dr Rajendra Prasad, we have had no leader who reached the highest position in the country,” said Chitranjan Gagan, state spokesperson of Bihar.

“In the last presidential poll, the RJD supported Congress senior leader Meira Kumar for the president’s post but Nitish Kumar projected Ram Nath Kovind and said that it would be a proud moment for every Bihari if the governor of Bihar was elected president,” Gagan said.

For the BJP, vice president M Venkaiah Naidu is said to be an obvious choice for president. If PM Narendra Modi and the BJP top leadership would project Nitish Kumar, it would be a political decision for them to achieve power in Bihar.

In Bihar, there is a political compulsion of every party in projecting Nitish Kumar as president.

The BJP desperately wants to gain poll benefits in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Bihar is holding the key in the numbers game in terms of reaching the magical figure of 272 seats in the Lok Sabha.

In the last one week or so, the tuning of Nitish Kumar with top BJP leaders like Nitin Gadkari and Dharmendra Pradhan was seen in Patna. Kumar also appreciated the work of Bihar industry minister and BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain from public platforms on two occasions.

Since the 2020 assembly election, the leaders of both the parties were not so friendly until the last one week. Now, the political situation has changed which indicates that there would be a compromise formula to achieve their own political ends. Nitish Kumar has already announced that the 2020 assembly election was his last election and he wanted a grand exit.

It could be a gamble for Nitish Kumar to leave the CM’s post and contest the presidential election. There is another theory that if Nitish Kumar gives up the control of the party, it may split and the RJD is so close to the magical figure of 122 in the Bihar assembly that it can grab some of the leaders for the formation of the government in Bihar.

The political experts of Bihar however believe that it is extremely hard to know what Nitish Kumar wants. No one knows the moves of Nitish Kumar till the last moment.

The RJD think tanks also believe that Kumar has no political successor to run the JD-U smoothly. In that case, the RJD will only have the BJP to challenge in the future elections. At present, the JD-U has a sizeable vote bank of OBCs and EBCs and if Nitish Kumar will not lead the JD-U, the voters may go towards the RJD.

The members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha are the eligible voters for the presidential election. The total votes values of the Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and MLAs of Bihar is 81239. The MLAs have 42039 vote value and the MPs of both the Houses have 39200.

One MLA of Bihar has 173 votes value while one MP of the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha has 700 votes.

The BJP has the highest votes in Bihar. It has 23 Lok Sabha MPs and 77 MLAs. The total vote value of the BJP in Bihar is 28721. The JD-U has a 22485 vote value with 47 MLAs and 16 Lok Sabha MPs. The RJD has a 16648 vote value with 76 MLAs, the Congress has 4687 vote value. The Left parties have 2768 and the AIMIM 865 vote values in Bihar.

–Ajit Weekly News

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