In a day visit to Jharkhand's Ranchi on Saturday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar targeted the BJP government in the state and authorized his party's Jharkhand unit to take all the decisions related to the Assembly election due to be held by the end of this year. He asked the party workers to take a pledge to address the problems of Jharkhand where his party, an NDA ally, would go it alone in the Assembly poll. Nitish Kumar was addressing a convention of party workers in Jharkhand.
Mocking the BJP government, Nitish Kumar said: "We are like brothers and I've closed down liquor shops and here they're opening. What kind of system is this and it's so dirty." Kumar said the achievements of his government in Bihar included round-the-clock electricity, growth in agriculture, 50 per cent reservation for women in local body elections and ban on liquor. "We not only constructed quality roads, but also made budgetary provision for their maintenance," he said.
Kumar said the people of undivided Bihar had been worried when its mineral-rich Jharkhand was carved out 19 years ago, but his government had taken a pledge to bring the state on the path of development and fulfilled it. "If you work to fulfil your pledges, you will get the support of the people," he said, adding that there should be no compromise on corruption, crime and communalism.
JD (U) vice-president Prashant Kishore said it is surprising that the party could not become strong in Jharkhand despite Nitish Kumar's good governance in neighbouring Bihar for 14 years. Kishore said he thinks that if 50 to 100 committed party workers make a concerted effort, the JD(U) would be strengthened in Jharkhand. "I will do whatever the party tells me. But 100 Prasant Kishores or 100 Nitish Kumars cannot win in just one or two months till you realise to work with a pledge," he told the party workers.
In general elections 2019, the JDU won 16 out of the 40 seats and its alliance partners BJP and LJP won 17 and 6 respectively. Although the JDU claims that the victory was largely scripted due to Kumar's face, the BJP did not include any of the JDU MP's in their cabinet. This reportedly marked the beginning of the internal tussle between the two alliance partners. Prashant Kishor, known for strategising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2014 victory was appointed as vice president of JD(U). After the elections, in a sensational development, Kishor's poll strategy team was reported to work for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool in West Bengal, creating ripples in the BJP. While the BJP and TMC are bitter rivals, Nitish Kumar stated that Kishor's team is his personal affair.
With a total of 243 seats in Bihar assembly, the state goes to polls in the upcoming year. While the ruling alliance of JD(U) and BJP are reportedly having internal tussles, the Opposition alliance - the Mahagathbandhan appears to be directionless after the massive poll drubbing in the general elections 2019. Lalu Yadav's party failed to open its account in the general elections and Nitish Kumar is facing anti-incumbency. With JD(U) VP's strategy team working with Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Nitish Kumar speaking against the BJP on various issues and the repeated invitations by the RJD to Kumar for rejoining the Mahagathbandhan, the poll-season in Bihar piques interest.