With 2019 Lok Sabha election approaching, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP)Bihar President Nityanand Rai claims that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will make a clean sweep of all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2019 general elections.
"The BJP has devised a strategy with its allies to ensure NDA's victory in all 40 seats. The opposition is weakening day by day in Bihar with prime opposition face Lalu Yadav in jail and his sons mired in a family feud," Rai, a Lok Sabha member from Ujiarpur, told IANS.
"In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the NDA bagged 31 seats despite the fact that the JD-U (Janata Dal-United) contested against the BJP. But with the return of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his JD-U to the NDA fold, the lifeless opposition will draw a blank."
The BJP polled 29.40 per cent votes in 2014 and bagged 22 seats but the party's central leadership replaced then state president Mangal Pandey in late 2016 with a powerful OBC leader Rai who enjoys the strong backing of uppers castes too in a state where politics is largely guided by caste-based equations.
BJP veterans admit that Rai has taken the party base from urban and semi-urban areas to each block and tehsil in Bihar with hard work and determination.
Rai, who represented Hajipur seat in the state Assembly for four times, is a product of the BJP's student wing politics and has been a flag-bearer of the RSS in north Bihar since childhood.
Rai said in the interview: "The Opposition is day-dreaming of improving its tally in Bihar, I am not leaving a single Lok Sabha seat to chance. There is a specific plan for every seat. Most importantly, people have great affection for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in his quality leadership."
He outrightly rejected reports that the law and order situation in NDA-ruled Bihar had worsened in recent times.
"The Nitish Kumar-led government has adopted zero tolerance on crime and corruption and there should be no doubt on these issues in anyone's mind. The criminals have been taken head-on because the government has strong willpower to tackle anti-social elements," stated Rai, who enjoys the strong backing of party President Amit Shah.