Skip to main content

A non-BJP govt in Bihar? Chinks in Nitish Kumar-led coalition may soon gain in size

By Haider Abbas* 

The day, since the West Bengal (WB) polls ended, the Union Home Minister is totally invisible! BJP, despite its most robust campaign, peppered with heavy communalism, could not even smell victory, as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) under Mamta Banerjee romped with her third time tenure in a row. It did not come late to political pundits that had Election Commission (EC) not played to the gallery of BJP, as it did in Bihar lately, BJP was not to cross even the 20 figure in WB.
The proverbial ‘khela’ after the results of WB and also the release of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Lalu Prasad Yadav, after a long confinement to jail from Ranchi, is now definitely to make a kick-start in Bihar, too, where NDA could win by a wafer-thin margin against RJD coalition (125 vs 110) seats out of 243 seats in 2020. The EC made it sure that NDA cruises to victory despite the anti-incumbency against Nitish Kumar. It did not come as a surprise that 21 seats won by NDA were by an extremely slim margin. One RJD candidate lost by a margin of just 12 votes! All the RJD protests fell on deaf ears.
The rug from below the feet of the NDA government in Bihar is now getting unsettled, as just after the WB results the rumblings have started as RJD leader Mritunjay Tiwari confirmed that some disgruntled Janata Dal (United) or JD (U) legislators inside the NDA government were in contact with RJD. This was bound to happen, as Upendra Kushwaha, JD(U) parliamentary board chairman, had already congratulated Mamta Banerjee with his ‘chakarvyuh’ remark, which set the trigger for unbolting a possible new scenario in Bihar. BJP spokesperson Manoj Sharma admitted, the ‘charkravyuh’ remark did not go well inside BJP echelons.
Ever since the formation of the government in Bihar, where BJP has a much larger tally than JD(U), BJP has accused chief minister (CM) Nitish Kumar of running the government “in his own way”. Deputy CM of BJP Tarkishore Prasad has also said that not everything in well with Nitish Kumar as BJP influence is ‘nowhere’ found in the government.
Meanwhile, one senior JD (U) leader, Shyam Bahadur Singh, questioned the survival of the coalition government. The wide war of words between BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal and Upendra Kushwaha is already on the anvil. It may be only a matter of time when a slugfest may ensue soon. Sanjay Jaiswal had opposed Nitish to implement the night curfew which upended Kushwaha to ask Jaiswal not to engage in politics. BJP accused Kushwaha of having ‘abdominal torsion’ which prompted senior leaders like Lallan Singh and Sanjay Jha to come in support of Kushwaha.
The side effects of WB results were bound to cast tremors, as JR Manji, his party Hindustani Awam Morcha, a constituent in Bihar government, complimented Mamta Banerjee, too. His party spokesperson Danish Rizwan said that the Mamta Banerjee magic is all writ large on Bengal politics and that BJP top leadership was caught on the wrong foot for engaging in uncivilized rhetoric (oblique reference to ‘Oh Didi Oh Didi’ remark by Narandra Modi), which made BJP pay for it. BJP spokesperson Azfar Shamsi retorted that BJP strike-rate has been the best in WB.
This counter-rhetoric from both the camps is a proof enough that chinks in the coalition are soon to gain in size and this wedge is more visible after the WB results where BJP partners are now openly targeting its central-leadership. There is a possibility that in the next couple of months one may find a turnaround in Bihar politics, particularly now when Lalu Yadav is out. He has already started to engage in ‘virtual-meetings’ with his party legislators due to Corona restrictions. It is a well known fact that the last 40 years in Bihar politics have been under the shadow spell of Lalu.
Latest to add fuel to fire was the unearthing of brand new 45 ambulances in the office of BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy gathering dust
The latest to add fuel to fire was the unearthing of brand new 45 ambulances from inside the office Saran BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy gathering dust amidst corona pandemic. The ambulances were bought under MPLAD funds and it is a widespread truth that thousands of corona victims could not even afford an ambulance and were to be carried on rickshaws and cycles.
Ambulances lying idle
The raid was conducted by ex-MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who sought a reply from BJP. Nitish was silent but instead got Pappu Yadav arrested for flouting lockdown norms. Had the ambulances been recovered from any other (read Muslim, SC, OBC non-BJP leader) office, BJP-sponsored mainstream media would have blown things out of proportion.
The public anger over the treatment meted to Pappu Yadav is now gaining momentum and political analysts have paralleled it with the popular JP movement of 1977. The chorus for his release is growing. Sitting ministers in Bihar iSantosh Suman and Mukesh Sahni have voiced their concern, but ironically RJD leadership has been conspicuous by its silence for the dread that Pappu Yadav may become a hero. Pappu Yadav runs Jan Adhikar Party. It is here where the opposition is expected to iron-out the differences.
Normally, Pappu Yadav was to be arrested only after a judicial probe, but BJP is known for its vengeance. Rudi has replied that ambulances were stranded due to unavailability of drivers, whereas the fact is that the Saran district has India’s biggest transport drivers’ training centre! One wonders why no probe was ordered to find out if drivers (of the stranded ambulances) were getting their salaries paid and petrol expenditures, it at all, on paper.
Meanwhile, in WB, no sooner Mamta Banerjee strode to victory, there were murmurings by psephologists and analysts that many erstwhile TMC deserters (towards BJP) were lobbying it hard to get reabsorbed in TMC. One of prime reason for BJP drubbing was also the import of TMC members on the eve of polls, it is suggested. BJP, meanwhile, has provided central security cover to all its 77 winners.
Massive mishandling of the corona pandemic by BJP has started to impact BJP. The rise of a non-BJP government in WB, no wonder, may soon find a consonance in Bihar as well as in UP in 2021, where the Samajwadi Party (SP) has made major strides in local body elections at the expense of BJP.
The writing is on the wall. What started from WB may also ring a bell of change at centre in 2024.
---
*Former UP State Information Commissioner, political analyst

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Modi-led regime 'contributed' 60% to rise of global poverty, yet Hindutva is intact

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* In recent years, the Hindutva politics has caused long term damage to India and Indians. The so called 56-inch macho PM, the propaganda master manufactures and survives all political crisis including the current mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic in India. In spite of deaths and destitutions, the social, cultural, economic and religious base of Hindutva is intact.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.