Can ignoring old loyalists hurt BJP in Bihar?

Sources have said that such random appointment may hurt the morale of old loyalists, who being strongly connected with grass root workers and actual voters of the party have capacity to bring numbers to polling booths.

Patna, Sep 19 (IANS) Ahead of Bihar polls, key officials with just two to five years’ history in the party have been made team leaders in the state organisation. This may backfire for the Bharatiya Janata Party as old loyalists associated with it for 30 to 40 years have been asked to play second fiddle.

IANS managed to obtain the list of organisational structure of BJP in Bihar wherein majority of leaders holding top posts “have joined just 2 to five years ago”.

Sources have said that such random appointment may hurt the morale of old loyalists, who being strongly connected with grass root workers and actual voters of the party have capacity to bring numbers to polling booths.

“Despite Bihar having come a long way on the development scale, votes here are actually cast on the basis of caste.

“If we entirely depend on our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, I believe, it would not be the right approach. We have to include all sections of the people to succeed in these election,” a party leader said requesting anonymity.

“Ignoring old loyalists may have huge consequences like India Shining and Bharat Uday campaign of 2004 parliamentary election when NDA lost elections to the Congress. We have to learn our lessons from the past and avoid making such mistakes. It is in the interest of the party,” he said.

IANS spoke to a few more old loyalists who, however, expressed slightly different views and said that it was up to party to decide the role of a particular official.

“The party’s think tank is in better position to observe the working style of particular person. I was state media cell in-charge earlier and was shifted into the district executive committee and I am happy whatever assignment I have been given from the party,” Rajiv Kuamr said.

Tarkeshwar Pandey, the state advocate forum chief concurs with Rajiv Kumar’s view: “Party top leadership is used to reshuffling officials from time to time. The exercise is an attempt to obtain better result. There is no harm in it. We as a party workers should be ready for any assignment.”

Nikhil Anand, the chief spokesperson of BJP Bihar unit said: “BJP has grown up over the years to get the status of largest party in the world. It has only been possible through organisational strength.

“We have a huge force of selfless workers and party knows how to place them for gaining maximum result. If that had not been the case, people like J.P. Nadda, who was a booth president of the party in Patna, would not have become national president.

“Our PM Narendra Modiji is also an example of it. He was a Swayamsewak of RSS and worked at the ground level, now he has reached the height from Chief Minister to Prime Minister.”

“BJP is not like a party that believes in carrying forward legacies or dynasties. With the passage of time, generational shift is obvious in this party.”

“Organisation and ideology is our strength and any worker given responsibility in the party have certain ability, experience and commitment. Without these basic parameters, no one would be given responsibility. The transformation is happening within the party very smoothly without creating any conflict,” Anand said.

“On the other hand, during Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) regime, they talked of caste and social justice but their social justice was based on conflict of castes. They have created a fragmented society where dynastic politics in the shape of Tejashwi Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav, Misa Bharti are being promoted.

“Our social justice is a perspective of community development wherein general category, OBC, EBC, Dalits, Mahadalits have stake in it,” Anand said.

“There is a perception that the BJP belongs to upper caste in Bihar but our state president Sanjay Jaiswal is a Bania (Trader) by caste so is Sushil Kumar Modi, the deputy chief minister.

“Nand Kishor Yadav, road development minister belongs to OBC, Prem Kumar belongs to OBC holding agriculture ministry portfolio. These are indication that BJP belongs to all caste and community,” Anand said.

The political experts believe that it is an image building effort which is being done by all parties. For RJD, Jagadanad Singh who is the state president of the party belongs to Rajput caste.

The simple reason for all this is to earn votes of the upper castes. Stalwart Samajwadi leader late Raghuvansh Prasad Singh who stayed in RJD for 32 years was a Rajput. RJD has an image of Muslim-Yadav party and follow MY equation. Lately, it has also focused on BB formula (Bhumihar-Brahmin) in the state.

In Congress, Madan Mohan Jha is a Maithili Brahmin while Congress has an image of OBC caste in Bihar.

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