In the last 10 days, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the JD-U leaders have apparently been competing with each other to give political benefits to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar.
Such a practice was started by Chandrashekher Yadav, the education minister under the RJD quota in the Nitish Kumar government, who gave a controversial statement on the Ramcharitmanas. He said that the holy book of the Hindus spread hatred in society.
Even as the Ramcharitmanas row was raging, JD-U ex-MLC Gulam Rasool Balyawi threatened to make every city in the country like a ground of Karbala.
These two statements have given ample opportunity to the BJP to play on its own turf and exploit Hindu sentiments to polarize the voters. All this is happening in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
Political analysts in Bihar believe that the BJP is getting issues at which they are good and will exploit them to polarize the voters.
Sources however claimed that these two statements were given deliberately for personal benefit.
When Chandrashekher Yadav had given a statement against the Ramcharitmanas, the RJD did not take action against him. Then there was speculation in the political circles of Bihar that the statement was made deliberately to get some benefits in the land for job scam in the IRCTC in which RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, his son Tejashwi Yadav and his two sisters have been named in the FIR registered by the CBI.
Such speculation became stronger when party state president Jagadanand Singh endorsed the statement of Chandrashekher Yadav. He not only endorsed it in his personal capacity but said that the entire RJD family is standing behind him. He need not retract his statement.
RJD vice president Shivanand Tiwari, however, objected to the statement of Chandrashekher Yadav and Jagadanand Singh at that time.
While the Ramcharitmanas row was still raging, JD-U ex MLC Gulam Rasool Balyawi gave another opportunity to the BJP to play on the pitch of Hindu politics. Balyawi was in Hazaribagh on Thursday to address a rally where he targeted Nupur Sharma, the sacked leader of the BJP.
Balyawi said that if anyone would speak against Prophet Mohammad, we are standing on the ground of Karbala and will make cities like Karbala. There will be no concession on this.
A day later, he returned to his Karbala statement and refused to take it back.
“Karbala is meant to sacrifice everything. We can give everything but we cannot allow humanity and brotherhood to be sacrificed here,” he said.
Balyawi demanded a Muslim Safety Act to keep the rights of Muslims intact in the country.
“At present, the government is declaring our 18-20 years old youths as terrorists and keeping them in prisons. If our children are protesting in the country, they are being killed. Hence, we need a Muslim Safety Act in the country,” Balyawi stated.
Following his statement, the JD-U top leadership has not taken any action against him with more than 48 hours gone by. This has led to speculation in the political circles of Bihar that the statement was given deliberately.
One of the theories put forward is that Nitish Kumar was aiming to get political acceptance in the opposition camps before the 2024 Lok Sabha election but Chandrashekher’s statement has given
a big jolt to him. He was not invited to the rally in Khammam where leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Bhagwant Maan, Akhilesh Yadav and the Left parties were present.
Sources said that the statement of Balyawi is an indication to those leaders who are not considering Nitish Kumar in the opposition camp. Hence, JD-U leaders like Balyawi had given a statement to benefit the BJP and hurt the initiatives of those leaders who are looking for opposition unity in the country.
When JD-U MLC and chief spokesperson Neeraj Kumar was asked about it, he said that the party is not endorsing the statement of Gulam Rasool Balyawi. He has given the statement in his personal capacity and it was needless. If he has any issue, there is a strong judiciary in the country. He should have gone there and sought justice.
“The way he has given the Karbala statement, there is an impression among the common people that he wants to make every city of the country a war zone between Hindus and Muslims. This is extremely objectionable,” RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwari said.
He added: “These leaders do not know the consequences of the statements they are giving and what would result from that. Moreover, they do not know how the BJP will exploit it.”
“When Chandrashekher Yadav had given a statement against the Ramcharitmanas and RJD state president Jagadanand Singh not only endorsed it but also said that the entire party is behind Chandrashekher Yadav, I immediately opposed it. That was not our party line. In both the statements, it is a political benefit to the BJP.”
When Chandrashekher gave the statement on the Ramcharitmanas, Upendra Kushwaha latched onto it and said that the RJD is playing on the same pitch as the BJP. Hence, it is obvious that the BJP will benefit from it.
After the statements of Yadav and Balyawi, BJP leaders including Union Minister Giriraj Singh, Sushil Kumar Modi, Ashwini Kumar Chaubey, Sanjay Jaiswal, Vijay Kumar Sinha, Samrat Chaudhary and others exploited it to make a fertile ground for the politics of religion before the 2024 Lok Sabha poll.
During the 2020 assembly election the AIMIM led by Asaduddin Owaisi contested in Bihar and managed to win some seats. At that time, Tejashwi Yadav and other leaders of the RJD claimed that Owaisi was the B team of the BJP who was doing the politics of Muslim appeasement in the state to give benefits to the saffron party. Now, the leaders within the Mahagathbandhan are doing the same.
Nikhil Anand, national general secretary of the BJP OBC wing and state spokesperson, said: “The statements of Jagadanand Singh, Chandrashekher, Gulam Rasool Balyawi are enough to expose the hypocrisy of the so-called secular politics. It shows that the RJD-JD(U) combine can resort to any low to play the politics of Muslim appeasement.”
“On the one hand, these secular blocs are deliberately making statements to hurt the Hindu sentiments and on the other hand, they are provoking hardcore Islamic fundamentalism based on anti-Hindu hatred.”
Continuing in the same vein, Anand said: “The secular-liberal bloc is given a clean chit after every statement. They were up in arms against Nupur Sharma, who is basically a victim of anti- Hindu politics which is gaining momentum in India.”
“Why didn’t the RJD take note of Jagadanand Singh for his ‘Nafrat Ki Zameen par Ram Mandir’ statement or the Ramcharitmanas statement of Chandrashekhar Yadav. Why is the JD(U) quiet on Balyawi’s ‘Karbala Ki Zameen’ statement. What is most surprising is that Nitish Kumar is cunningly and silently endorsing these pro-Islamic and anti-Hindu statements based on hatred as well as Muslim appeasement politics.
“The BJP respects all religions and discards any statement based on religious hatred which weakens the national interest, Anand added.”