The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) clinched a victory in the Bihar elections by defeating the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan. The BJP alone won 74 seats and the Janata Dal (United) managed to grab just 43 seats.
After the election results, it was clear that the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) will play the role of big brother in the Bihar alliance. Soon after the elections, speculations were rife that JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar will not be given the seat of chief minister due to the party’s performance.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear that Nitish Kumar will be the chief minister in this government led by NDA. Kumar took oath as the Bihar chief minister on Monday, 16 November.
But by appointing Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi as the deputy chief ministers in the state instead of Sushil Modi who had been Bihar’s deputy chief minister from 2005 to 2013 and then again from 2017 to 2020, the BJP has made its priorities quite clear.
Within the party, there were also some other contenders for the post of Deputy CM.
BJP has given the posts of deputy CM to leaders coming from backward caste (one OBC, one EBC).
But there are other leaders in the party who belong to the backward caste.
Nand Kishore Yadav
Nand Kishore won the Patna Sahib seat for the seventh consecutive time, he defeated Pravin Singh of the Congress by over 18,000 votes.
Yadav is a veteran leader of Bihar BJP, he served as the Cabinet minister for road construction in the Bihar government, prior to the split of JDU from NDA in 2013. After the split, he served as the leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly. It was speculated that Nand Kishore Yadav might be sworn in as the Bihar deputy CM. According to reports, Yadav might now be made the Speaker of Bihar Assembly.
Another important contender for the post of Deputy CM was said to be Dr Prem Kumar. For the past 30 years, Kumar has been continuously winning from all seats in the Gaya City Legislative Assembly on a BJP ticket.
Prem Kumar belongs to Chandravanshi society and is considered the architect of EBC politics. He has also been the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in the previous Nitish government. When Nitish Kumar formed the government with RJD for almost 2 years, Prem Kumar was also the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly.
Hence, it is believed that Prem Kumar's claim for the post of Deputy CM was more powerful.
The current deputy CMs are representing the backward classes, but one post could have been given to a minister belonging to the general category to balance the equation.
Mangal Pandey is the biggest name among upper caste leaders in BJP. Pandey has served as the chief of Bihar BJP, he was also the health minister in the previous Nitish government.
Mangal Pandey is also considered to be a strong organiser. When he was election-in-charge, the BJP won strongly in Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh. Mangal Pandey is also considered close to Sushil Modi.