Nitish Kumar sudden decision to break the grand-alliance and join BJP within hours came as a shock to many, but those who were in the political circles knew that something was not very right. It was like a game of chess between JDU and RJD where JDU was winning the board with every move they made, till the final check-mate this week.
Nitish Kumar was one of the few oppositional leaders who supported demonetization while his ally RJD was against it. On the issue of GST Bill, Nitish Kumar’s JDU was first to support BJP. In the last presidential elections, almost everyone began to see the tilt which JDU had towards BJP. The rumors began to take serious shape with CBI investigating the hotel scam against Lalu Yadav’s family. JDU has repeatedly demanded former deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav to step down based on alleged corrupt allegations.
However, one thing is very clear that Nitish Kumar is no more in the race of becoming PM, as Narendra Modi would occupy that post. Within two years of breaking up with the NDA camp, JDU realized that it is not getting what it wanted as family politics of “Yadavs” did not give JDU the full-fledged freedom to rule autonomously. JDU’s decision to break ranks with the NDA had gone bad. In the national assembly elections, JDU was able to secure only 2 seats across Bihar. Nitish Kumar also resigned and appointed Jeetan Ram Manjhi as the new Chief Minister who was not able to rule properly. In the end, the situation became so bad that Manjhi founded his own party i.e. Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM).
This is the first time since 1990, that both the state government and the central government are ruled by the same coalition party in Bihar. The demand for “special-status” for Bihar can be fulfilled under these circumstances and more funds can flow inside the state. Thus for the general population of Bihar, it could be a blessing as there has always been a shortage of funds allocated from the center in Bihar.
RJD can now try to split the JDU, as there are reports of some JDU leaders including Ali Anwar Ansari and Sharad Yadav who are unhappy with Nitish Kumar’s decision. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury are also trying to engineer a split within JDU. If RJD is successful even a small fraction of JDU leaders it would be difficult for the ruling coalition to stand the floor test. Also with 80 seats, RJD is currently the biggest party in Bihar. There are 16 Muslim-Yadav legislators in the JDU camp which can break up, due to a difference in ideology with BJP. RJD may try to convince them, that Nitish Kumar would backstab them when the time is right.
However, the situation of the opposition is now in tatters if we look at its preparation for the 2019 assembly elections. With Congress losing one state after another and defection of party members followed by a broken opposition which has a divided ideology, it will be very difficult for them to defeat a strong NDA which has been expanding in every direction.
Nitish Kumar is the Chief Minister again just like the last week, everything seems to be functioning normally, and just political-parties have changed hands. Sushil Modi is back in his shoes of deputy CM thanking Tejaswi Yadav for being an accused of corruption charges. What else can one expect from politics in Bihar?
News Sources- Financial Express