Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Wednesday clarified, “The SSR case has nothing to do with the forthcoming Bihar assembly election. The JD(U) will not take political mileage of the SC orders in the SSR case.” He was trying to set at rest speculations about the NDA taking advantage of the sentiments. The SC order allowing CBI probe in the SSR death is seen as a logical end to the Bihar govt’s action to satisfy the actor’s family. DGP Gupteshwar Pandey confirmed it when he claimed it was because of the CM an FIR was filed and a CBI probe was recommended.
The assembly poll is scheduled in October-November. Restricted campaign due to lockdown, prevailing Covid situation and floods in north Bihar will begin next month. It will reach its zenith by mid-October. By then, the Bihari identity (ashmita) campaign over SSR will subside. The Bihari nationalism movement, started in July-end when the FIR was filed in Patna, peaked with a cry for a CBI probe is now over. The movement will subside now, leaving little scope for the NDA to exploit public sentiments. In Bihar, polls are fought on caste basis. Lalu Yadav talked of social revolution, but narrowed down to the Muslim-Yadav combination. Nitish had begun a campaign for social justice and inclusive growth, but confined himself to upgradation and uplift of Kurmis, which is evident from the party posts and governance to the Kurmis only.
The Rajputs constitute 5% of the electorate and dominate in 50 of the 243 seats. They have 6 MPs from Bihar and 22 members in the assembly. The are the NDA [BJP-JD(U)] supporters. JD(U) state chief Bashistha Narain Singh is a Rajput. The Bihari identity sentiments generated over the actor’s SSR death would be confined to the Rajput voters and a big difference is a little possibility as they voted for the NDA in the 2010 election. Recently, leaders strongly pitched for a CBI probe. Bihar forgot the agency’s achievements in cases it has been probing. Ranveer Sena head Brahmeshwar Mukhiya of Bhumihars, an upper caste, was gunned down at Ara in 2012. Little progress has been made. Another disappearance, kidnapping and murder of a girl, Navruna, at Muzaffarpur in 2009, too, was given to CBI. None was nabbed with the agency seeking extensions in court hearings. The main accused in Shrijan bank scam of Bhagalpur is absconding. CBI was tasked with probe 5 years ago. In fact, leaders’ happiness for a CBI probe in the SSR case confirms their apprehensions as the agency’s track record is poor.