I cannot wish that Chirag Paswan is a victor in the Bihar elections, says Devendra Fadnavis

 thehindu.com  10/18/2020 11:52:57 

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. File   | Photo Credit: Jigneh Mistry

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, currently the BJPs Bihar poll in-charge, was confident of the NDAs prospects and stressed that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the leader of the alliance in the State.

Also read: Bihar Assembly elections | We will see a BJP-LJP government, says Chirag Paswan

Its not exactly deja vu as there is a huge difference between our alliance here and the one we had in Maharashtra. In Maharashtra there was always a hostility; for five years they (Shiv Sena) were with us but since the municipal corporation elections, they had already declared they would not want to continue the alliance. But we came together in the Lok Sabha polls. Even when with us they (Sena) behaved like an opposition party within the government.

That is not the case in Bihar. We may have separated in 2013, but when we came back together in 2017, there was absolutely coherent synergy. I have been involved in seat negotiations in the last few weeks, and the way the conversations took place here were very different from that with Shiv Sena, in tone and tenor. The co-ordination here was much better far more convivial.

Also read: Bihar Assembly elections | BJP, JD(U) split seats evenly, to share with smaller allies

As of now, they (JD-U) are convinced that this alliance is coherent. I dont see any doubt in their minds. We are holding joint sabhas and meetings with leaders from both our parties on the dais. Ultimately, the narrative is set on the ground level, and when people see that the foot soldiers of JD(U) and the BJP are working together, it sets the mind at rest.

Also read: Bihar Assembly elections | The din in Dinara is about BJP-LJP undercurrents in this election

We have lots of respect for Ram Vilasji (late leader Ram Vilas Paswan) and I wish young Chirag well. I cannot wish that he is a victor in these elections as ultimately he is not fighting as part of our coalition. I think that his position, which he took, was incorrect. When you say you are part of NDA at the Centre, you cannot say that you will disregard (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji. In the same way in Bihar, if you are part of NDA you cannot disregard Nitish Kumar. Undoubted the leader of NDA in Bihar is Nitishji.

Also read: Bihar Assembly election | LJP to go it alone, but backs Narendra Modi

We havent thought of it yet. In politics you cannot predict what may happen in the future.

Initially, there were problems of transportation, but once that was sorted out, the government here, with its experience of running relief camps due to seasonal flooding, very soon created camps for these inter-State workers, and arranged money in their accounts and daily expenses. Once it started, people seemed ok with it, I dont see any anti-incumbency due to that.

It can be summed up in one word, bharosa (faith). People have faith in Modi ji; we are going forward on that. Also Nitish ji has been at the helm of affairs for 15 years and his image is clean which is not a very common occurrence and it matters to the voter.

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