Union Minister for States, Home Affairs and senior BJP leader Maya Nityanand Rai made a controversial statement ahead of the Bihar assembly elections by stating that 'Bihar, will become a haven for militants from Kashmir will if the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) - led opposition coalition comes to power'.
Political analysts say that while such a statement will help BJP consolidate its vote bank, it'll hurt their principal ally, the Janata Dal-U.
While keeping BJP by their side, they're trying maximum to get the support of Muslim voters. Appreciation for Urdu language, scholarship for students in government-affiliated madrasas, construction and protection of cemeteries, re-consideration of Bhagalpur riot case etc were shown as examples by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
JDU leaders are also sceptic if BJP would plot some strategy right after poll results The fear has doubled after Lokjanshakthi Party's (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan criticized Nitish Kumar. Chirag has been seen saying that he has nothing against Narendra Modi and there's a possibility of BJP-LGP government after the election results.
JDU is trying to emerge as the single largest party, whatever it takes, but the party facing a credibility crisis among the Muslim community for their frequent somersaults.
As the BJP increased its vote share in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, they adopted an aggressive posture to increase its popularity by consolidating the non-Muslim votes.
This time, the JDU and BJP are contesting on almost equal seats. BJP has no Muslim face in the list of 110 seats it is contesting. While the JD (U) has 11 candidates from the Muslim community and 18 from the Yadav caste out of the 115 seats of its quota.
Nitish Kumar is striving to keep maximum votes from within the Yadav and Muslims.
But there isn't anyone prominent Muslim face in JDU this time. BJP would have to face tough challenges if they won't vote for JDU's Muslim candidates in constituencies that have high community polarization.