Terror has been replaced by trust is the message that the workers of the ruling JDU in Bihar are being asked to spread by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, signalling that the upcoming state polls would be fought on the issue of Lalu Prasad Yadav‘s fifteen year misrule and the good governance under the NDA in the successive years.
The Assembly election is only months away in Bihar, and ruling party, JDU is reaching out to its workers in a manner less flamboyant but more intimate, embodied best by the chief minister’s manner of speaking, which is more conversational than oratorical. Bhay Banaam Bharosa, reads the caption of a Janata Dal United poster circulated widely among its workers at the grassroots level as they listen to pep talks by Nitish Kumar via video conferencing. Pati patni ki sarkaar, is another catchy slogan on some other JDU posters.
The JDU exercise, commenced on Sunday, when Union Home Minister Amit Shah kicked off the BJP’s campaign in the state with a Virtual Rally : Bihar Jan Samvad, and expressed confidence that Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, a saffron party veteran, will steer the NDA to victory in the Bihar polls.
The daily interactions sessions focussed on a district, and Nitish Kumar minces no words when he tells the party workers that besides touting the achievements of his government, they must also thwart the attempts of the RJD, to take advantage of the incumbency factor. Pay special attention to those who may have just turned 18 and would be voting for the first time. They were too young when we took over in 2005 and have no idea, how things were in Bihar back then, no electricity, no law and order.
Posters put up at prominent points of the state capital, understandably but not admittedly by the JDU, have been showing Lalu Prasad Yadav alongside Shahabuddin and Raj Vallabh Yadav, a former MLA from Nawada, who has been convicted for the rape of a minor. The intent is obviously to highlight the taint on the party supremo himself, who is serving sentences in fodder scam cases, besides the sordid backgrounds of a large number of people associated with the RJD.
Both the JDU and its ally BJP seem to understand well that the shadow cast by Lalu Prasad yadav, once considered invincible, is the glue that will hold them together, a reason why Shah too spent a significant part of his speech highlighting the lawlessness and economic stagnation that have come to be associated with the period when the RJD supremo was at the helm.