BJP in high gear ahead of Amit Shah rallies in Bihar’s Seemanchal area

State BJP leaders work on gathering public support for the visit even as JD(U) plans a protest

On September 23, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will address the rally at Purnia and the next day, he will visit the neighbouring Kishanganj district. File | Photo Credit: PTI

State BJP leaders work on gathering public support for the visit even as JD(U) plans a protest

Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s scheduled visit to Seemanchal (bordering) districts of Bihar Purnia and Kishanganj on September 23 and 24 has the State BJP unit working round the clock to ensure that the rallies planned are a success.

To prepare for Mr. Shah’s rallies in Purnia and Kishanganj, several State BJP leaders have been camping in those bordering districts for several days now.

Union Minister and party’s firebrand MP from Begusarai, Giriraj Singh has been made in-charge of the rallies in the Seemanchal area; he has been touring the place over the past several days, meeting with local people and leaders to make the rallies successful.

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On September 23, Mr. Shah will address the rally at Purnia and the next day, he will visit the neighbouring Kishanganj district.

Meanwhile, the ruling Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) leadership labelling the visit as a means for the BJP leader to foment communal disharmony in the Muslim-dominated areas. JD(U) on Tuesday announced that in of view of Mr. Shah’s visit, it would stage a protest at all block headquarters on September 27.

Poll plans

The Seemanchal area of north Bihar consists of four districts — Purnia, Kishanganj, Katihar and Araria — where Muslim population is in sizeable number to influence the success of political party’s candidates in both Assembly and General elections. The four districts share their border with West Bengal and Bangladesh, from where a large number of immigrants have infiltrated and settled to change the demography there, BJP leaders claimed.

The four districts represent 24 Assembly seats and four Parliamentary seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, BJP won just one seat of Araria, while JD(U) had victories at two seats of Purnia and Katihar and the Kishanganj seat went to the Congress party. In 2019, both BJP and JD(U) had fought elections together as allies. However, political experts said that the political trend of Seemanchal area “influences electoral course of other adjoining districts like Supaul, Bhagalpur, Madhubani and Darbhanga as well”.

After JD(U) snapped ties with BJP recently to form the Mahagathbandhan government in the State, this will be Mr. Shah’s first visit to Bihar, which — several party leaders said — would sound the bugle of poll preparedness for the party gunning for big wins at the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

“People and party leaders, especially of Seemanchal area, are quite excited to know that their leader Mr. Amit Shah is coming to their area; his visit has generated a euphoria kind of excitement among them”, said BJP leader and State party chief Sanjay Jaiswal, who has been camping in Purnia for the past few days.

The buzz in the State’s political circles is also that two-time former MP from Purnia Uday Singh alias Pappu Singh might make a comeback to BJP during the rally. Mr. Pappu Singh was elected from Purnia in 2004 and 2009 but was defeated by JD(U) candidate Santosh Kushwaha in 2014.

Later, he quit the BJP when JD(U) returned to the NDA fold in Bihar. In 2019, Mr. Pappu Singh — the brother of former Rajya Sabha member and ex-Finance Secretary N.K. Singh — joined the Congress to contest the Lok Sabha election from Purnia but was defeated again by Mr. Kushwaha. The buzz is that State BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal had met Mr. Pappu Singh in Purnia recently to make way for his homecoming.

Opposition’s protest

The Opposition has its own reservations about the upcoming visit. “Mr. Shah is coming to the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal area to disturb communal harmony and social fabric there but people of the State are aware and his design will not succeed,” said JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh.

Mr. Lalan Singh also added that JD(U) would observe a protest day in view of Mr. Shah’s visit at all block headquarters of the State on September 27 .

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