A new star - Tejashwi Yadav

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 23, 2020, 06.37 PM(IST) Oct 23, 2020, 06.41 PM(IST) Written By: Kartikeya Sharma

File photo of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

It is for the first time in so many years that Nitish Kumar -- as brand ambassador of clean politics in Bihar -- is on a weak wicket because of perceived inability to develop Bihar. Tejashwi also teased Nitish Kumar for his inability to get a better deal for Bihar.

Friday’s rumble of public rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav in Bihar was handsomely won by the young scion of the Lalu Prasad dynasty, as he kept to his script and charmed the crowd.

On one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his speech reminding people of the "jungle raj" during Lalu Prasad Yadav’s regime, Tejashwi Yadav’s speech was on unemployment, industrialisation and infrastructure development in Bihar. Modi tried to remind the electorate of the flip side of the social justice politics, whereas Tejashwi Yadav remained focused on Nitish Kumar.

What is interesting is that he had made a strong departure from the social justice politics of his father Lalu Prasad Yadav. He did not mention backward forward political issue in his speech. In fact, it was peppered with the idea of government for all.

Throughout the speech, he made it a point to say that as chief minister, he would ensure government jobs to 10 lakh people. To me, it is like another political jumla but the one which crowd seems to be lapping up.

His speech is a significant departure from what made RJD a big party in Bihar. He does not have the baggage of his father and friends who for 15 years made life hell for people of certain castes. This makes it difficult for BJP-JDU combine to pin down Tejashwi who hammered down the issue of development in speech, a plank which had belonged to Nitish Kumar.

It is for the first time in so many years that Nitish Kumar -- as brand ambassador of clean politics in Bihar -- is on a weak wicket because of perceived inability to develop Bihar. Tejashwi also teased Nitish Kumar for his inability to get a better deal for Bihar.

PM Modi, on the other hand, focussed on welfare schemes and delivery of goods and services. He even made a point to speak about the Buddhist circuit, but the crowd did not respond which is not expected from Narendra Modi’s rallies.  

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi’s primary attack remained on Modi on the issue of China and as usual Adani and Ambani angle. It also did not cut much ice with crowd either.  

The speech came across as lazy and did not have the required impact.  

What is even more interesting in this election is that unlike the last one, BJP-JDU campaign is not celebrating Nitish Kumar which the 2015 election campaign of 'mahagathbandhan' was about. 

BJP-JDU might be focussed on the word "samikaran", but it lacks the buzz. It must be given to Tejashwi that he has connected with the crowd and even if the verdict is to go other side, he will emerge as one of the main leaders in post JP landscape of Bihar politics.

Kartikeya Sharma

Kartikeya Sharma is Political Editor at WION. When he is not working, you will find him travelling, reading or cooking.
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