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Rift in Bihar BJP could be addressed in Jaipur meet


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PATNA: All eyes are set on the three-day meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionaries to be held in Jaipur from May 19 as the conclave may effect some reshuffle in the Bihar BJP.

The meeting assumes special significance for Bihar as the issues related to the internal power struggle in the BJP's state unit are likely to be taken up in discussions at the top level.

The internal clash in Bihar BJP started after the 2020 assembly polls itself, even though the party put up an impressive show by emerging as the second largest party with 74 seats.

The conflict, however, intensified after the July 2021 cabinet reshuffle at the centre as a group of leaders started making attempts to reformulate the strategy used so far to execute the caste-based politics in the state.

Under the growing influence of these leaders, two important BJP leaders—Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sushil Kumar Modi were allegedly sidelined as Prasad was dropped from the union cabinet.

On the other hand, Sushil Kumar Modi was not inducted in the union cabinet even as he was denied the post of deputy chief minister in the new NDA government in Bihar.

A good number of BJP leaders in Bihar consider that both Prasad and Modi were sidetracked to make way for the emerging 'Yadav' coterie, spearheaded by union minister and Bihar in-charge Bhupendra Yadav.

Yadav was trying to change BJP's image as a party that took care of only forward castes in the state and it was not averse to taking even Yadavs, known for their strong loyalty to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, on board.

But it did not work well as planned by the BJP as it suffered electoral setbacks. The party's defeat in the Bochaha by-poll and MLC elections was like a shocker as upper caste members (read Bhumihars) did not cast their votes in its favour. So all these issues are likely to be taken up for discussion at the
proposed Jaipur conclave.

BJP's top brass has also started rethinking its plan as Bhupendra Yadav has not reported a good relationship with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan was sent as the party's emissary as he met Nitish to pacify his frayed tempers.

In such a situation, Bihar BJP may witness a complete overhaul after the Jaipur meet. The tenure of state chief Sanjay Jaiswal is also likely to come to an end in a couple of months.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)