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Bihar: JD-U Protest Against Price Rise, Joblessness, and Communal Divide

This is the first protest staged by JD-U against the Central government after it dumped its coalition partner BJP, joined hands with opposition Mahagathbandhan and formed the government last month.
Bihar: JD-U Protest Against Price Rise, Joblessness, and Communal Divide

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: Thousands of leaders, workers, and supporters of the ruling Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) on Tuesday took to streets across Bihar to protest against the BJP-led Central government for failing to control unprecedented price rise, growing joblessness, communal divide, and hatred in the country. This is the first protest staged by JD-U against the Central government after it dumped its coalition partner BJP, joined hands with opposition Mahagathbandhan and formed the government last month.

JD-U took out "Satarkta Aur Jagrukta March" at all block headquarters and district headquarters in the state to expose the double standard of the BJP and caution people of its communal agenda, and appeal to maintain peace and harmony during the ongoing festival season.

Most of the top JD-U leaders, including national president Lallan Singh, senior leader Upendra Kushwaha, the president of JD-U's parliamentary board, state party president Umesh Kushwaha, ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLCs and former ministers joined the protest march. Only Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, widely seen as the de-facto chief of JD-U, did not participate in the protest.

In Patna, Singh, who led the party march, told the media that JD-U was on the roads to expose BJP's conspiracy to disturb social harmony and create awareness about it.

"Wrong policies of BJP-led Central government are responsible for rising prices, unemployment. BJP is also trying for a religious frenzy. We will give a befitting reply to it."

Kushwaha said JD-U's protest march is to create awareness among people and be cautious.BJP is conspiring to create tension in the society and to end brotherhood for polarisation to the vote.

"BJP is doing everything to create hatred and communal divide. The party has no time to focus on price rise and unemployment and instead tries to divert the focus to useless issues. The saffron party leaders are hell-bent on disturbing social and communal harmony in the country. After BJP was ousted from power in Bihar, the party was restless and frustrated. JD-U will not allow BJP to implement its Hindutva agenda in the state," Kushwaha told NewsClick.

JD-U senior leader and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar launched a stern attack on BJP, saying BJP is a jumla party.

"BJP will face a most difficult situation in the country in 2024 General elections because people are very angry over price rise, joblessness and hatred in the society," Neeraj Kumar told NewsClick.

JD-U's protest march came four days after Union Minister Amit Shah visited Seemanchal.

Shah directly attacked two main leaders of the ruling Mahagathbandhan, Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Shah, known as a master strategist of the Hindutva agenda, has specifically chosen Seemanchal for his visit to virtually launch a campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Seemanchal is considered a stronghold of the Mahagathbandhan and a politically weak area for the BJP in Bihar.

Fear of Mahagathbandhan or the Nitish Kumar factor ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls was visible in Shah's address at a public meeting in the Purnia district.

JD-U leader Neeraj Kumar alleged that Shah announced the operationalisation of Purnea airport contrary to the ground reality.

RJD leader and Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday, soon after his return from Delhi, targeted BJP, telling media that the party would be wiped out in the next Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.

"Mahagathbandhan will defeat BJP in the state. BJP is unlikely to open its account. It will be big if BJP manages to win 1 of 40 seats."

Sensing this as a political move to challenge Modi, BJP leaders, including union ministers, former ministers, party MPs, and MLAs, have been attacking Nitish Kumar on several issues. It appears that the state BJP leaders were asked to expose and embarrass Nitish Kumar without a miss daily for joining hands with the Mahagathbandhan, including the RJD, Congress and Left parties.

Ironically, in recent days, BJP leaders have been targeting Nitish Kumar, their ally, till August 9, 2022, and have been blaming him for poor governance and poor law and order in the state.

Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar met Congress leader Sonia Gandhi in Delhi two days ago, reportedly in connection with opposition unity. Earlier, Nitish Kumar met several opposition party leaders to garner support.

It is a different matter that Nitish Kumar denied that he was interested in being a PM candidate and termed it mere speculation and useless talk for some time.

The BJP, which has yet to overcome the big blow served by Nitish Kumar last month, has launched a well-designed campaign to discredit Nitish Kumar and his image.

The BJP's top leadership, including Modi and Shah, are reportedly worried about facing the next elections alone in Bihar because the party has been left with only one ally in the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Union Minister Pasupati Kumar Paras, which has no MLA in the state Assembly and is considered a spent force.

Nitish Kumar's JD-U and Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD have been 'pro-Mandal', and after they joined hands, it was a significant political development in the caste-ridden state. They enjoy a social support base among OBCs, EBCs, dalits and Muslims. In 2015, when JD-U and RJD contested Bihar Assembly polls, BJP was badly defeated.

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