Nitish may not like it but BJP wants Modi in Bihar



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi/Patna: In yet another signal pointing to the growing unease between the BJP and the JD(U), Bihar BJP chief has invited Gujarat strongman Narendra Modi to a rally in Patna.

"Yes, we have invited Narendra Modi to address the Hunkar rally March 15 in Patna," state BJP president CP Thakur told the media in Gaya.

A former central minister, Thakur, said Modi had been invited in view of his rising political stature in the party and the country.

"No power can stop Narendra Modi from visiting Bihar to address the rally," he said in reference to the likely objections of Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal-United.

A man known for his frankness, Thakur surprised everyone when he said some time back that the BJP was preparing to contest all 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014.

The BJP’s aggressive positioning is significant as, during the last Assembly polls in the state, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had openly opposed campaigning by Modi in the state. Kumar had also objected to his photographs with Modi in newspaper advertisements during the BJP national executive meeting in Patna in June 2010.

However, it is clear that while the current story is being played out in Bihar, the big picture is the fight for Delhi.

On the one hand is Narendra Modi, who has his eyes set on 2014, if he returns to power in Gujarat, and on the other is Nitish Kumar who is also said to be in the race to be the PM in 2014.

Moreover, Kumar has made it clear to the BJP that the alliance between the two parties will end in the eventuality of the BJP anointing Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.

If Gujarat votes back Modi, he may make the move to the national stage and the BJP will find it difficult to oppose his candidature.

Hence, the new assertive BJP in Bihar can be seen as its attempt to avoid getting caught off-guard in 2014 if its long standing alliance with the JD(U) comes to an end.