इंडियन आवाज़     25 Sep 2023 07:40:40      انڈین آواز

Internal surveys jolt JD(U), BJP

New Delhi: Within a couple of days of the return of Rs five crore Kosi relief fund by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to the Gujarat government on June 19 newspapers in Bihar carried a survey report suggesting that Janata Dal (United) would win around 120 seats if it fight the assembly election alone, and not in alliance with the BJP.

The party used the survey report to salvage the morale of the confused and dejected rank and file. Besides, it was used as an excuse to justify the stand against Narendra Modi. However, political observers rubbished that survey by stating that no such scientific and reliable assessment can come up within a day or two of the return of money to Gujarat. Its impact can be measured only a few days later when the message goes down deep into the society.

Now more than a week later independent assessments conducted by both the BJP and Janata Dal United came as a bolt from blue to both the NDA constituents in Bihar forcing them––in particular Nitish Kumar––to soften his stand. So the man who virtually snatched the plates from in front of Lal Krishna Advani and Narendra Modi on June 12 was a fortnight later seen in the house of his own minister, Ashwini Choubey, literally breaking breads with him. Nitish went there to attend a religious ceremony.

The assessments said that if both the parties fight separately the BJP may end up winning 45 seats and the Janata Dal (Unied), notwithstanding all the tall claims, just 35––that is 10 less. And the RJD-LJP alliance may just cruise through comfortably. And if they fight the election jointly then it may be possible that they almost reach half way mark.

The internal surveys of the BJP and Janata Dal (United) were carried in a New Delhi-datelined report in the Monday’s edition of the Telegraph, which said that “Alone, both will be restricted to ‘dismal’ double digits… while the RJD-Lok Janshakti Party duo might sail comfortably towards the halfway figure.”

According to the daily “the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) have salvaged their Bihar alliance from near wreckage after independent internal assessments…”

“The BJP’s conclusion was without the Janata Dal (U), it might end up picking barely 45 of the 243 Assembly seats, while its ally’s tally could be 10 less. Which means even if they wanted to patch up after the elections, they would be far short of the 122 seats required for a simple majority,” the report said.

The daily said that “The Janata Dal(U)’s reading, too, wasn’t vastly different.”

The daily quoted a political aide of Nitin Gadkari as saying that the BJP president had commissioned a survey when the alliance was in rough waters and a section of state leaders clamoured to call it off. “We keep doing such surveys especially when elections are round the corner. So this was one such exercise but it was also more significant than the others because our relation with our partner was shaky.”

The Telegraph report said that the “startling” revelation prompted the leadership to conclude that the Bihar hotheads––who railed against chief minister Nitish Kumar after he returned Rs 5 crore to his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi had sent as flood relief––would have to be reined in.


“We had to balance our pride against ground realities. Both of us would have lost in the polls,” a Bihar BJP leader conceded.

The daily in its detailed analysis said that it was also admitted that his act of returning Modi’s cheque didn’t go down well in the flood-affected areas where people were asking if the colour of donations was more important than the relief they would bring and also why the chief minister had not used the funds so far.

The survey has sent a shock waves within both the parties as more the message of the stage-managed drama goes deeper among the voters the more harm it is going to cause. Though Nitish did all these for the sake of minority votes the truth is that his image has now taken a serious beating. Political observers are of the view that his visits to various Khanqahs are not going to yield any result––it may even backfire––as these religious institutions do not have any political clout among the masses. This was the mistake committed by Nitish’s predecessors, they said. “Nitish has unnecessarily spoilt the good atmosphere and polarized the society when there was absolutely no space for it. Besides, a sizeable section of flood victims, who were let down, are Muslims of the Kosi belt,” a political analyst told BiharTimes on condition of anonymity.

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