Nitish Kumar may be an ally of the BJP in Bihar but he will be contesting against the BJP Government in Jharkhand headed by Raghuvar Das during the Assembly elections in November this year.
The Election Commission has, however, allotted a new poll symbol to the JD(U) after the party’s existing symbol ‘arrow’ created confusion with the election symbol of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). The JMM has ‘bow and arrow’ as its symbol.
Ever since Nitish decided to contest on all the 81 Assembly seats in neighbouring Jharkhand on its own, the JMM approached the EC to freeze the JD(U) symbol ‘arrow’ as it might confuse the voters in tribal-dominated State. After much deliberations, the EC recently allotted ‘farmer driving a tractor’ symbol to the JD(U).
Nitish earlier this month sounded the poll bugle in Ranchi where he came down heavily on the BJP Government in the State. “It’s around 19 years since Jharkhand was formed after bifurcating Bihar in November 2000. And the mineral-rich tribal State has witnessed virtually no development in the last two decades. On the other hand, ever since I took over the reins of Bihar in 2005, the State’s growth rate has increased by leaps and bounds,” said Nitish lashing out at his Jharkhand counterpart, although he refrained from taking his name.
It’s not only the JMM but Shiv Sena too, which had protested a similar election symbol of the JD(U). The Maharashtra-based party Shiv Sena too has ‘bow and arrow’ as its symbol and it protested to the EC when it came to know that the JD(U) would field its candidates during October 2019 Assembly polls in Maharashtra. “The EC has allotted ‘diesel pump’ as the election symbol to the JD(U) for Maharashtra Assembly polls,” said a ruling party source here in the state capital.
Ever since the JD(U) performed well in Arunachal Pradesh during the May 2019 elections (when it won seven Assembly seats in the N-E State), Nitish, who is also the national president of the JD(U), is in expansion mode of his outfit, aiming to get it a status of national party.