Modi-Kumar share stage, but not ad space

The BJP's posters feature solo image of Prime Minister Modi while Nitish Kumar's ads in newspapers do not mention either PM Modi or the BJP

Nitish Kumar, Narendra Modi, Bihar, Chief Minister, JD(U), alliance
The opposition sees it as a clear sign of discord and discomfort between CM Kumar and PM Modi.

Are the BJP and JD (U) really together? Well, they appear to be contesting the elections as an alliance, but banners and newspaper ads put out by the two parties suggest something is just not right.

The BJP posters feature a solo image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while Nitish Kumar’s ads in newspapers do not mention either PM Modi or the BJP.

Obviously, the opposition parties using this “apparent rift” to confuse the voters.

Full-page BJP ads and posters that appeared on Saturday said: “BJP hai toh bharosa hai (where there is BJP, there is trust).” With single billing to PM Modi, the ad only talked about the BJP’s election promises – free Covid vaccine for all in Bihar and 19 lakh job opportunities.

LJP’s Chirag Paswan, who quit the NDA recently, and Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) said it is proof that even the BJP acknowledges Nitish Kumar’s unpopularity.

Also read: Chirag Paswan seeks votes from BJP voters for ‘Nitish-free’ Bihar

“It seems Nitish Kumar’s need for proof does not end,” sneered Chirag Paswan, who has vowed to defeat Nitish Kumar while remaining friendly with the BJP. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) also tweeted an image of the ad and taunted: “Nitish-ji should be grateful to the BJP for providing him a full-page ad and praman patra and he should be as loyal to the NDA coalition as the BJP is.”

The RJD tweeted images of the same ad with the comment: “Bihar will vote for a Chief Minister not a Prime Minister.”

NDTV quoted a source within BJP that Nitish Kumar was the first to decide not to share space with its leaders in his ads. An advertisement released on the day he was sharing the dais with PM Modi did not have any image but his own, they say.

The ad showcased the Chief Minister and his “Saat Nishchay (seven resolves)” and used the catchphrase “Swavalambi Bihar” – his take on the Prime Minister’s “Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bharat”, the NDTV reported.

The opposition sees it as a clear sign of discord and discomfort between CM Kumar and PM Modi.

In 2010, Nitish Kumar had made hue and cry when an ad featuring him with Narendra Modi surfaced in Gujarat. Kumar had lodged an FIR and sent a team to investigate. The image was from their joint rally in the 2009 parliamentary election. For years after that, Nitish Kumar has distanced himself from PM Modi and even ended his ties with the BJP in 2013, months before the 2014 national election. Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA only three years later, and supported Modi.

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