Bihar poll: BJP uncertain on naming CM candidate

New Delhi, 8 June (IANS) In wake of Nitish Kumar’s announcement as the chief ministerial candidate of JD-U-RJD-Congress combine for the upcoming Bihar assembly polls, the BJP is a dilemma whether it should also announce its candidate for the top post or bank on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity.

The party’s poll debacle in Delhi has sent the leadership guessing whether to bank on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image or to go with a popular face from the state only.

Since the BJP’s state unit leadership does not have any match to the stature of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the central leadership is in a bind over the issue.

Inputs from central leadership clearly indicated that party is not going to repeat the Delhi experiment, where former IPS officer Kiran Bedi was declared the party’s chief ministerial candidate at the very last moment. Till then, the party had banked on Modi’s charisma.

If the party decides to go in elections with a face, it will have the option to select its chief ministerial candidate only from within the party’s state unit. Even the RSS has suggested the party honour its cadres hard work and sacrifices rather than imposing leaders from outside.

“Party insiders feels that it will be better for the party if it decides to go on Maharashtra and Haryana formula, where party banked on Modi and won handsomely,” a central functionary of team Amit Shah told IANS on condition of anonymity.

If the BJP decides to go in the elections with having declaring its chief ministerial candidate, there will be possibility of increasing infighting which may hamper the party’s prospects, he added.

Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi is said to be a strong contender for the post, but names of union ministers Radha Mohan Singh, Rajeev Pratap Rudy and Ravi Shankar Prasad and Nand Kishor Yadav are also doing the rounds in political circles.

“Our parliamentary board will decide the issue as and when required,” Prasad told reporters when asked whether BJP will bank on Modi’s popularity or will announce its chief ministerial candidate.

However, he denied that that he is in race for the top post. “I am not interested at all,” he said.

Making light of the opposition combine, he said: “Nitish wants to develop Bihar with Lalu Prasad, the man who ruined Bihar. People of Bihar want change and so they will vote for change and development this time.” .

BJP ally, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ramvilas Paswan has already denied that he is in the race for the post.

Ho told reporters in Mumbai that Prime Minister Modi will decide about the chief ministerial candidate of the NDA.

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