Tarkishore Prasad, frontrunner in race for Bihar deputy CM, is part of BJP’s Bengal plan. Here’s how

Four-term Katihar MLA Tarkishore Prasad was on Sunday named Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) legislature party leader, in an indication that he could be the deputy chief minister in the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by Nitish Kumar.

Prasad, 64, is an intermediate pass from the local D S College Katihar. He won Katihar on a BJP ticket in October 2005 and has never lost the seat since then. Prasad comes from RSS background and has had held several posts in the Sangh before joining the BJP.

Even in 2015, when JD(U), RJD, and Congress fought the Assembly elections together, he retained the seat.

“I have been given this responsibility and I’ll carry out the duty to the best of my ability,” said Prasad after being elected as leader of the BJP legislature party. He, however, refused to comment on the post of deputy CM.

“I can’t comment on it as of now. Whatever responsibility comes, I will take up the challenge,” he said.

A local resident of Manihari, Ranjit Kumar said, “Prasad used to hold regular ‘Shakha’ of RSS and retained several posts in the organisation also.”

One of the reasons for Prasad’s elevation in the party is the proximity of Katihar, which shares border with West Bengal.

“BJP wants to enter West Bengal politics in an emphatic way and hence Tarkeshwar Prasad was elevated to the post of the leader of BJP in Bihar,” political expert Naresh Kumar Srivasatava said.

The NDA clinched an unlikely victory in the Bihar polls, proving wrong the exit polls which had given an edge to the RJD-led opposition alliance, the Mahagathbandhan. The opposition alliance won 110 seats, of which the RJD won 75, the Congress 19 and the Left parties together won 16 seats.

The Bihar assembly elections were held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7. Counting of votes for all 243 assembly constituencies took place on November 10.

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