There was a time when former Bihar CM and leader at Janata Dal United JD(U), Nitish Kumar was against using social media. He was seen taking digs at political leaders who used the medium including Narendra Modi during his campaigning days. But Nitish who is no more officially on the CM’s chair today, is making effective use of social media to take a dig at the policies of BJP led NDA government.
Joining Facebook late last year, today Nitish is using the medium to not only share pictures and his movements but also taking a dig at the Modi government. In a recent Facebook post written in Hindi, Nitish expressed that in democracy social media is a big weapon but the same is a danger if used in a wrong way like BJP. He further stated that BJP has made social media anti-social but his party would use the good powers of social media in democratic ways.
Citing an example about the misbehavior on social media, Nitish spoke about the foul language being used in comments and the famous Rajdeep Sardesai controversy where it was told that the journalist was manhandled by Modi supporters while asking questions. However, the episode has another side which showed that even Rajdeep was doing his bit to instigate anti Modi sentiments among the crowd gathered at the Madison ground in US.
However, this isn’t the first time that Nitish has blamed BJP for misuse of social media. Right after joining Facebook, the ex-CM had alleged that “divisive forces” were using social media as a tool for “character assassination” and spread of intolerance towards things they did not like.
While attending a book release function in the state capital Patna last year, the supreme of JD(U) further added, “When famous economist Amartya Sen praised Bihar model of development, divisive forces hailing from a party led a campaign on social media to assassinate his character.”
Besides his Facebook page and the Bihar JDU Facebook page have been quite active in posting content and bringing up issues against BJP, check some of the Facebook updates:
1. Recently a buffalo crashed a Spice Jet flight on the runway. While it is a shameful incident for the country, the incident happened in Surat, Gujarat. JDU took up the issue on its page by taking a dig at Gujarat’s development model which was under Modi as CM for 10 years. The content was shared by Nitish.
2. Another status update informed fans to be alert in Delhi and indicated BJP’s hand in it.
3. BJP’s failure of getting black money in the country and its changing commitment on the issue also gets updated on the page with BJP being labelled as Bhrasht Jhoothi Party.
4. A cartoon on how BJP is turning into Bhrasht Jhoothi Party.
5. Finally on Modi’s promise of giving Bihar special status and how it is creating a divide in the country.
State elections next year in Bihar
Next year, Bihar is going to witness state elections. During the Lok Sabha elections BJP did well in the state and eclipsed local forces like the JD(U) and RJD. Though it couldn’t reproduce the same in the post-Lok Sabha poll by-polls since one time arch rivals JD(U) and RJD forged an alliance between them to tackle the Modi wave.
Taking responsibility for the bad show by his party, Nitish resigned from the CM post and has been focusing on a similar social media strategy as what BJP had used before coming to power – highlight the failures of the opponent while showcasing the good work your party is doing.
The social media properties of JD(U) as well as that of Nitish Kumar seem to be doing the same – to eradicate the new fondness for Modi’s government by highlighting the loopholes in it.
After winning with flying colors in the recent elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, BJP has planned to fight solo in Bihar. With the first Union cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, PM Narendra Modi has seemingly set up Bihar’s political chessboard for electoral battle with the still nascent “grand alliance” of the JD(U), RJD and Congress in the state assembly polls next year.
On the other hand Nitish has already started his ground work with Sampark Yatra – a drive to connect with grass root level party workers all over Bihar and strengthen his party’s position. Pre-buzz for the drive has already found its place on Nitish’s Facebook. Whatever happens in offline, rest assured the reactions towards state elections are going to be felt on social media.