After losing power in Bihar, the BJP is making every effort to regain political ground in the state before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. As part of this plan, it has decided to organise a ‘Sant Sansad’ in Buxar district where 10 Chief Ministers as well as Union Ministers and six Governors will assemble from November 8-15.
Union Minister and local MP Ashwini Kumar Chaubey said that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will be the chief guest of the event. Besides him, Chief Ministers including Yogi Adityanath (UP), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (MP), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), Pushkar Singh Dhami (Uttarakhand), Pramod Sawant (Goa), Eknath Shinde (Maharashtra), Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam), Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, as well as representatives of Nepal, Cambodia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and other countries will be present.
“It will be a religious and cultural event and it has nothing to do with politics,” Chaubey claimed.
“Lord Rama, after Ayodhya, came to Buxar and killed the evil Tarkasur. There is a temple of Mata Ahilya in Buxar as well. UP CM Yogi Adityanath had started Shri Ram Karma Bhumi Yatra from Lucknow on November 3 and it will reach Buxar on November 5 via Ayodhya. The Charan Paduka of Shri Ram is present in Buxar and it will further go to Janakpur in Nepal on November 20 covering various districts of Bihar,” he aid.
BJP OBC Morcha national General Secretary Nikhil Anand said that the “Sant Sansad will be a great event to promote cultural ethos and social harmony. Everyone who wants to provide moral and intellectual leadership in the society should participate in these events”.
However, the question is why BJP has chosen Bihar’s Buxar district for its programme comes down to one element – “fear”, or rather, the fear of losing the 2024 Lok Sabha battle against the alliance of the JD-U, the RJD, and five other parties.
The BJP is the single opposition party in Bihar which is also facing identity crisis as no other leader can challenge Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and Tejashwi Yadav.
Over the years, the BJP is contesting elections in Bihar in the name and image of Nitish Kumar. Now, Nitish Kumar, in a bid to save his own party, went with the RJD in of August this year. On the other hand, the BJP never allow any of its leaders to flourish in Bihar like Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh. It put an established leader like Sushil Kumar Modi aside after the 2020 Assembly election and brought Tar Kishore Prasad and Renu Devi as substitutes. However, both flopped.
According to Patna-based political analyst, Bharat Sharma, the politics of Bihar is different from other smaller states like Goa, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and others.
“Here in Bihar, face is the most important factor then party cadre. BJP has made booth pramukh, panna pramukh and saptrishis on the ground but they could not turn the table for it unless and until a political face is there. BJP, after 2014 Lok Sabha election, is contesting on the face of PM Narendra Modi.
“BJP has two aspects in contesting any elections in the country. One is to select strong candidates and another is to divide the vote banks of the leaders of opposition parties. They did the same in the 2020 Assembly election through Chirag model in Bihar and also through the AIMIM in Seemanchal region. They also did the same in Uttar Pradesh by making candidates of BSP stronger to cut the votebank of Samajwadi Party,” he said.
“This time, 7 parties are united in Bihar including Nitish Kumar’s JD-U. The vote bank of opposition parties are not likely to divide here and BJP does not have a capacity to win the election on its own. Hence, polarising society through Sant Sansad is one of few options to go with and gain political ground,” he said.
RJD Vice President Shivanand Tiwari criticised the BJP’s plans. “BJP is turning out to be politically bankrupt in the country. They never talk about real issues like price rise of every product, unemployment, farmers related issues, education, health etc. Hence, they have only one option to communalise the society to win elections and remain in power.
“Sant Sansad is generally organised by saints. Why is a political person organising it and inviting Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, and Governors. There must be a political agenda hidden in it. The political agenda is to win the Lok Sabha election 2024 at any cost,” Tiwari told IANS.
The situation of BJP in Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and other non BJP ruled states is not impressive at the moment. BJP leaders believe that mission 2024 may take a big jolt if the party would not perform well in these states, and amid ‘padyatra politics’ by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and political strategist Prashant Kishor, believe that the religious yatra may turn their fortunes/