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BJP’s challenge: Wider RJD base, Left revival, its own new faces

In terms of power politics, retaining the government in Bihar is an achievement the BJP has been talking up since the results came in. But the shuffling in its ranks with the swearing-in of the new government Monday underlined how the party is bracing for what it sees as the challenges of its 2020 mandate. The choice of two — not one — Deputy Chief Ministers, Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi, reflects how the BJP is addressing the churn from the word go. Indeed, former Deputy CM Sushil Modi’s ejection from state politics underlined this signal.The party may be putting up a brave face citing its win in 74 seats but sources note that this isn’t its best performance in alliance with the JD(U). It had won 91 Assembly seats (of 102 it contested) in 2010 in alliance with JD(U). That it has become the senior partner in the alliance has little more than symbolic value.

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