Nitish Kumar to launch UP campaign with rally in Varanasi
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will hold a public meeting in Rohaniya assembly segment which is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi on December 24 in the run-up to next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Lucknow, Dec 10 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will hold a public meeting in Rohaniya assembly segment which is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi on December 24 in the run-up to next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Bihar minister and Janata Dal (United) secretary (organisation) has Shravan Kumar confirmed the programme.
Shravan Kumar, along with some local leaders, visited Rohaniya on Saturday to finalise the venue for Nitish Kumar’s rally.
Party leaders and workers from the Purvanchal region will be present at the Rohaniya public meeting, which will be Nitish Kumar’s first rally for the Lok Sabha elections.
In addition to Varanasi, the focus will be on Azamgarh, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, Phulpur, Ambedkar Nagar and Mirzapur, Shravan Kumar said.
Taking a dig at the ruling BJP, the Bihar Chief Minister alleged that that caste and religion are on their agenda while “our agenda is brotherhood and love.”
Targeting the Congress, he said that some leaders of the (INDIA bloc) made mistakes due to which formulation of a strategy for the Lok Sabha election got a little delayed.
“Now we are making efforts to ensure that no further mistakes happen. We are going to prepare a concrete strategy for the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
Rohaniya is a Patel majority assembly constituency in Varanasi. The community has played a decisive role in Rohaniya in every assembly election since 2012.
That year, Anupriya Patel, currently a Union minister of state, won the Rohaniya assembly seat as a candidate of the united Apna Dal.
Anupriya vacated her assembly seat after she was elected MP from Mirzapur in 2014. In the 2014, Rohaniya assembly by-election, Mahendra Singh Patel of the Samajwadi Party won the seat. In the 2017 assembly election, Surendra Narain Singh of the BJP was elected. In 2022, BJP ally Apna Dal (S) candidate Sunil Patel won the seat.
The JD (U) leader said that after the recent assembly polls, no one party should now have any illusions about it being the only one wanting to defeat the BJP as others are also capable.
Given the backdrop, Kumar’s UP rallies would thus be interpreted as pre-poll posturing, both to keep the buzz about him contesting from the state alive as also to rattle the BJP, which looks fairly confident of another good performance in the state with 80 Lok Sabha seats.
However, even more important is the subtle messaging of the proposed rallies to the Congress to concede space to regional players in states like UP, where it does not have much of a presence.
Kumar’s rallies are due in places like Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gorakhpur, the bastion of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Azamgarh, Prayagraj and many other places across east and central UP with a sizeable presence of most backwards.
Kumar is a Kurmi, among the biggest non-Yadav OBC groups and his being active in east UP, where BJP despite having some few homegrown Kurmi leaders like UP’s Jal Shakti minister Swatantra Dev, has still backed ally Apna Dal (S), a Kurmi centric party.
This indicates its plans to woo nearly eight per cent Kurmis who it is believed could influence outcome in about 12 Lok Sabha seats in the state.