The forthcoming Bihar assembly elections have become a battleground for the newly-formed Janata Parivar and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who are leaving no stone unturned to bring down their opponents.
As the elections near, party leaders are becoming more and more vocal about their opponents, trying to secure their vote bases before the polling dates are announced.
After its humiliating defeat in Delhi, the BJP is rigorously working on the ground in Bihar. Here's why the party feels confident about winning the election.
Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for the state
A colossal package for Bihar was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 August at a government function in Arrah. The Bihar government has been demanding a special package from the centre for a long time, and this announcement just a couple of months before the elections is expected to benefit the BJP greatly.
Legislative elections victory
In July, the BJP-led NDA won 13 out of 24 seats in the Bihar legislative elections, where the party had held only five seats earlier. The legislative elections which took place just a few months before Bihar goes to the polls are seen as an indicator of the people's mood. After winning the elections, party president Amit Shah claimed that 'the countdown of BJP's victory in Bihar has started'.
Janata Parivar's deteriorating image
The RJD-JD(U) alliance with the Congress might prove to be a disastrous mix. The rivalry between Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar is not unknown and the people of Bihar might choose to stay away from such an opportunistic alliance. Also, the recent report on the Bhagalpur riots which proved the then Congress government's dubious role, will diminish people's trust in the party.
Division of Muslim and Dalit votes
Jitam Ram Manjhi, who was ousted from the JD(U) has already aligned with the BJP for the elections. Ram Vilas Pasvan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is also part of the NDA alliance. This is expected to take the Dalit votes away from the Janata Parivar. Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM will be contesting from 25 seats, which will lead to a division of Muslim votes and benefit the BJP in the end.
2014 Lok Sabha elections performance
NDA managed to secure 31 out of 40 seats in the state during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, out of which the BJP alone won 22 seats. On the other hand, Nitish Kumar's JD(U) could ensure victory in only two seats and Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD was reduced to four seats. This was primarily because of the 'Modi wave'. In the assembly elections, the party has not yet announced its chief ministerial candidate and is fighting in the name of Narendra Modi.