The Bhartiya Janata Party’s Bihar unit president Samrat Choudhary alias Rakesh Kumar may be the chief ministerial face of the party in 2025 State Assembly elections.
Mr. Choudhary, 54, was appointed as BJP’s State chief in March 2023 and is known for his regular vitriolic attack on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Senior State BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh, while addressing party workers and supporters in Begusarai, on Tuesday, projected Samrat Choudhary as party’s chief ministerial face.
When Mr. Singh asked the workers and supporters who should be the Chief Minister of Bihar, they responded with Samrat’s name. Mr. Singh urged them to raise slogans calling for Samrat Choudhary as Chief Minister during their campaign. He then said, “we want to make Narendra Modi Prime Minister again in 2024 and we’ve to remove Nitish Kumar in 2025 and make Samrat Choudhary, the next CM of Bihar”.
Mr. Choudhary too was present in the meeting. “Criminals will not be spared in the State, if BJP government comes to power”, declared Mr. Choudhary. Mr. Choudhary, who always wears a saffron turban over his head, said, “I’ll remove this turban from my head when we’ll remove Nitish Kumar as Chief Minister of the State and form the BJP government”.
When Mr. Choudhary was appointed as party’s State president, he announced that Nitish Kumar’s party will not get even a single seat in Bihar in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. He had also said that BJP would win all 40 seats and form the next government in Bihar in 2025 State Assembly elections.
Non- Yadav president
Mr. Choudhary belongs to Kushwaha (traditionally Koeri caste) of Other Backward Class (OBC) and is the first non-Yadav State president of the BJP. His father Shakuni Choudhary was considered an influential leader of Koeri caste in 1990s and had switched loyalties several times to parties such as the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samata Party and the JD(U).
In the State’s political parlance Kurmi-Koeri caste combination is also called Luv-Kush combination and forms the largest non-Yadav vote share of over 6% among the OBC. Samrat Choudhary too was, earlier, in RJD but later he switched sides and joined the BJP. Mr. Choudhary, currently member of State Legislative Council, has also represented Parbatta (Khagaria district) in State Assembly and has been a State Minister three time.
Recently, when RJD chief Lalu Prasad visited Patna after his successful kidney transplant in Singapore and recuperation in Delhi, Mr. Choudhary described Mr Prasad as “director of the grand alliance (mahagathbandhan) and other party leaders as dummy actors”. “The director is out and it’s good that he is coming to the dummy actors here but, it will hardly make any difference to the superpower of Nitish Kumar”, he quipped.
Meanwhile, ailing Mr. Prasad on Wednesday, met party legislators at his wife Rabri Devi’s official residence 10, Circular Road and asked them to gear up for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State.
“In the present lot of State BJP leaders, there is no one leader as young and attacking on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar like Samrat Choudhary. Among the State BJP workers and supporters Mr. Choudhary in many ways resembles Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi and he may be party’s face for Chief Ministers post in 2025 Assembly poll. No one should be surprised over this”, political analyst Ajay Kumar told The Hindu.
However, some senior State BJP leaders preferring anonymity refused to make any official comment on the issue but, two of them curtly asked, “why not? He will be a better choice”.