Bihar: Can Manish Kashyap Become West Champaran's 'Nayak'?

Abhishek Kumar

Apr 12, 2024, 03:16 PM | Updated 03:16 PM IST

In a scene right from the Anil Kapoor-starrer Nayak, a can of milk was poured on Kashyap to welcome him in Ratanpura village of Bettiah, 9 April.
In a scene right from the Anil Kapoor-starrer Nayak, a can of milk was poured on Kashyap to welcome him in Ratanpura village of Bettiah, 9 April.

Popular Bihar YouTuber Manish Kashyap is set to once again try his fate in politics. Kashyap will contest as an independent candidate from West Champaran, his birthplace.

Kashyap will be challenging incumbent Sanjay Jaiswal, former head of Bihar Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit, who is expecting his fourth consecutive victory from the seat.

From the Indian National Developmental Inclusive (INDI) Alliance, Congress will be fielding its candidate from the seat.

What Is Boiling In The Constituency

In his interview with Hindustan Times, Kashyap said that his main agenda is fighting ‘dynastic politics’ and incompetence. Kashyap’s allusion is supposedly directed towards Jaiswal, who is son of Madan Jaiswal, one of the founding members of BJP. According to Kashyap, his path will be easy due to anti-incumbency against Jaiswal.

Initial response to Kashyap’s candidature has been encouraging.

In Ratanpura village of Bettiah, Kashyap was given a grand welcome by women. In a scene right from the Anil Kapoor-starrer Nayak, a can of milk was poured on Kashyap.

This was on the first day of Chaitra Navratri. His X feed is filled with videos of Kashyap addressing public rallies and visiting locals door-to-door.

Meanwhile, Rupak Shrivastava, man in charge of BJP’s West Champaran district termed Kashyap as fly-by-night politician. “Unlike Kashyap who is only a fly-by-night politician, Sanjayji has worked as primary member for 20 years before the party elevated him. Take it from me, after the elections Manish Kashyap will flee from the scene as eels in the mud,” said  Shrivastava.

Manish Kashyap’s Politics

Before his latest bout, Kashyap had contested as an independent in the Chanpatiya assembly constituency of West Champaran in 2020 assembly elections (AE). He ended up a distant third.

Later, in his YouTube stint, Kashyap’s politics seemed to be centred around developmental issues. He exposed lackadaisical efforts in government projects running all across Bihar, sometimes outside it as well.

Taking these projects as examples, he took sarcastic jibes at then Bihar government of the day, which included Nitish Kumar aligning with both BJP and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) at various times.

Kashyap believes that by targeting the government, he drew the ire of a lot of politicians, Tejashwi Yadav and Sanjay Jaisawal being some prominent names. 

Before being arrested on charges under National Security Act (NSA), Kashyap had hinted that Tejashwi Yadav was looking for 'some dirt' on him. In one of his videos, he had declared to take down Tejashwi Yadav’s government within 180 days after coming out on bail. Coincidentally, Yadav did lose power but not because of Kashyap.

In one of his rallies, Kashyap also took Jaiswal head on. By stating that no BJP leader from West Champaran stood for him, Kashyap warned people of West Champaran that tomorrow if they are in danger, Jaiswal won’t take a stand for them.

Supporter Of Prime Minister Modi

Though he is contesting against BJP, Kashyap also claims to be an admirer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After he came out of jail, Kashyap appreciated BJP leaders for taking a stand in his favour. In January, Manoj Tiwari, actor-turned-BJP leader had visited Manish Kashyap at his home, and stated that PM Modi was aware of the developments surrounding Kashyap. Rumours of Kashyap joining BJP had gained ground then.

Kashyap is often seen appreciating the Modi government’s schemes and its stance on cultural issues. Before the pran prathistha ceremony of Ram Mandir, Kashyap’s video taking on critics of the temple went viral on the Internet. 

In one of the speeches, he rebut the claim that building of temples comes in the way of development. Kashyap later also visited Ram Mandir.  

Kashyap has promised to give 40 lakh jobs to people of Bihar in five years. Locals believe that if not victory, he will definitely snatch a considerable vote share of the Congress.

Abhishek is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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