Changing their strategy after the first two phases of poll for 81 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party has now focused on raising “micro issues” in its advertisements in newspapers and billboards targeting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar instead of RJD chief Lalu Prasad. The party has also started inviting alliance partners to its war-room strategies while asking them to go for “aggressive” campaigning against rivals in the next three phases of poll.
“ Susashan ka dum bharne wale Mukhyamantriji, jara bataiye … kab tak apni kursi ke liye jungle raj ke age ghutne tekte rahenge ? [Boasting good governance, Mr. Chief Minister for how long will you be kneeling down before the jungle raj for power?],” asked the latest BJP advertisement splashed in local newspapers on Monday.
Besides, the advertisement which said, “ jawab nahi, to vote nahi ,” has explicitly mentioned the rising crime graph, incidents of dacoities, theft, rape, police firing and insecurities in rail journeys during the Nitish Kumar regime.
“These are not political questions but moral,” said the advertisement asking the Chief Minister “Is this your definition of good governance? … What right have you got to talk about rule of law in Bihar?”
Earlier, in an apparent bid to woo the Yadav voters and to make a dent into the Yadav vote bank, the BJP, in its poll meetings and advertisements, consistently targeted Mr. Prasad. But poll observers said the BJP’s effort failed and “rather consolidated the Yadav vote bank in the first two phases.”
The BJP went into a “revision mode” and made changes in its strategy. It not only gave space to the faces of State party leaders coming from all castes on its huge hoardings and posters but also changed the texts focussed more on developmental issues and promises, particularly to youth. Pictures of alliance party leaders like Jitan Ram Manjhi, Upendra Kushwaha and Ram Vilas Paswan too were splashed on these posters pasted all across the town.
Amid all these changes, BJP president Amit Shah held a closed-door meeting with leaders of alliance partners and senior State BJP leaders in Patna on Sunday. Party sources told The Hindu that the issue of the first two phases of the poll was the main agenda of the meeting.
“Mr. Shah discussed the emerging trend of the first two phases considering the leaders’ feedback and gave tips to them for the coming three phases,” said a BJP leader. He also asked the State BJP and alliance leaders to be “aggressive on rival leaders during the coming phases of the campaign.”
Along with the State BJP leaders, alliance leaders such as LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, his son Chirag Paswan, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party leaders Upendra Kushwaha and Arun Kumar and leaders of Hindustani Awam Morcha (S), Jitam Ram Manjhi and Shakuni Chaudhuri, were present at the meeting.