The man, who had thwarted the attempts by the RJD workers who were hell bent on stopping the Rath of Lal Krishna (LK) Advani from reaching the Mahatma Gandhi Setu and entering Patna from Hajipur in 1990. Yes, we are talking about Nityanand Rai, has been appointed the Minister of State for the Union Ministry for Home Affairs.
Rai had successfully executed BJP national president Amit Shahs plan on the ground and ensured a complete routing of opposition parties in Bihar as National Democratic Alliance (NDA) wins 39 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 polls.
Shah has chosen Rai as his deputy in the Home Ministry. He is of the same disposition as that of ex Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar; a quiet but dedicated leader, able administrator and who may not be the most visible face but certainly a talented one. It was exactly on account of these characteristics due to which Rai had been chosen as the BJPs Bihar unit president in 2016.
His appointment had come at a time when BJP was disheartened after losing the state elections to the grand alliance in Bihar and was divided into several factions. He had been chosen against several senior leaders as Shah had seen a spark. By enabling the BJP-led NDA to win 39 out of 40 seats in Bihar, Rai had successfully executed Amit Shahs plan and ensured a complete rout of opposition parties in Bihar.
It has been reported that Union Home Minister, Shah has delegated all 21 divisions of his ministry, except the reporting of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), to the Ministers of State for Home Affairs, G. Krishna Reddy and Nityanand Rai of the BJP.
Important portfolios, viz. centre-state division, Police-I (that looks after transfer postings of IPS officers), foreigners divisions and others, have been allocated to Rai who is MP from Bihar. Officials said that this move was in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modis appeal during a recent meeting to allot more work to the Ministers of State so that they also play a part in the functioning of the government and do not feel left out.
Rai was given the responsibility of the party in 2016 when the BJP was said to be divided in several factions and its morale was at an all-time low after having lost to the grand alliance miserably in 2015.
Shah saw in Rai the spark and ignored several senior faces in Bihar to lead the party. Rai had joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1981 and became a loyal soldier of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from the time he entered the Raj Narain College Hajipur.
At this time, the RSS was trying hard to make its presence felt in the rural areas of Bihar. In 1990, Rai was made the secretary of the youth wing of the BJP, in 1996, its general secretary and in 1999, became its president. In 2000, Rai entered electoral politics and won from Hajipur Assembly constituency for three consecutive terms 2000, 2005 and 2010. In 2014, he won from the Ujiyarpur Lok Sabha constituency against RJDs Alok Mehta by more than 60,000 votes. This time, he was re-elected from the seat by defeating Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) president Upendra Kushwaha by over a lakh votes.
Rais name came into the limelight in 1990 when he averted an imminent arrest of senior BJP leader LK Advani in Hajipur. Advani was on a nationwide rath yatra and Rai had convened a mahapanchayat in Hajipur to oppose Advanis arrest.
The then chief minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav, had sent RK Singh, district magistrate of Samastipur, to arrest Advani. Singh is now a BJP MP from Arrah and is a minister in the Narendra Modi government. Lalu was at the peak of his political career and anybody challenging him from the Yadav clan (Rai belonged to the community) was unheard of at the time. Despite Lalus dominance over Muslims and the Yadav community, Rai proved his might and forced the chief minister to change his plan of arresting Advani in Hajipur.
As per strategy, Muzaffarpur crisis has brought out the worst of Bihar Chief Miniuster (CM) Nitish Kumar. It has severely damaged his image of a Susashan Babu. Being the CM of the state for more than 15 years certainly brings Kumar to the center of discussions over existing health facilities in the state. Several media reports have also exposed the poor conditions of government hospitals in Bihar, more specifically in Muzaffarpur where the Hospital was not only under-equipped but also showed years of perpetual mismanagement.
The reports also suggested that the medical facilities at the state-run hospitals are not satisfactory and children are not given medicines on time, resulting in the high number of casualties. Even doctors have indicated towards these limitations.
With this, Kumars popularity is set to decline dramatically. Bihar will definitely look for a change in leadership. It needs an able leadership and administration. In such circumstances, Rai seems all set to work towards the crucial leadership role and emerge as a possible Chief Ministerial candidate from BJP in Bihar in the years to come.
Bihar assembly elections will be held in October 2020 to elect 243 members.The term of current assembly elected in 2015 will expire on 29 November 2020.This will be a fight between RJD led UPA and BJP led NDA. On UPA side, RJD is likely to fight on 150 seats, Congress 50 and others like RLSP, HUM, VIP & Left parties on remaining 43 seats. On the other side which is ruling currently the state, BJP & JDU are likely going to contest 105 seats each and LJP will have remaining 33 seats.