Nitish Kumar’s BJP cushion is now a matter of past. After his JDU severed its 17-year-long ties with the NDA in the wake of Narendra Modi’s appointment as BJP’s Central Election Committee chairman, Kumar is a forlorn politician now.
Even as the Bihar Chief Minister managed to win a trust vote with the help of Congress and some sundry independents, his image as a politician has taken a severe beating.
By snapping ties with BJP on the issue of Narendra Modi, Kumar has made his intentions clear. There are no two opinions that Modi’s new appointment is just one step away from him being declared as BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. This didn’t go down well with Nitish who is paranoid of Modi’s rise. But why? With just 20 MPs in his kitty, Kumar sees himself as a contender for the Prime Minister. This is nothing but a joke.
Kumar always saw Modi as a hurdle between him and his perceived Muslim vote bank. This was precisely the reason the Bihar Chief Minister didn’t let his Gujarat counterpart enter Bihar to campaign for the BJP. But Nitish who is obsessed about Godhra ad nauseam has failed to recognise the fact that minorities in Gujarat having had their much-needed political space and peace have clearly preferred Modi. Even it is unfair to expect this from someone like Nitish Kumar — who toured Pakistan to woo Muslim votes back home – realising the very fact.
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Nitish now simply thrives on communal agenda. He is eying on the whopping 17 per cent Muslim votes in Bihar and for that he has embraced a calculated risk. But he should not forget that there are two other key players – RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan – who have been nurturing the same vote bank since long. In addition, there is always a Congress which is an old player of minority vote bank.
Nitish Kumar’s sudden exit from the NDA should be attributed to his political insecurity after the recent by-polls results. Remember, Kumar’s JDU lost miserably in Maharajganj Lok Sabha by-election. In contrast, the BJP swept all six by-elections in Gujarat, thanks to Narendra Modi.
The Bihar Chief Minister will go down in history as one of the most opportunist politicians. Kumar who has secretly cultivated a Third Front option before leaving the NDA is now hobnobbing with Congress. This is not to forget that his long political career survives on anti-Congress movement.
Nitish Kumar has not just betrayed the BJP, but by continuing as a Chief Minister after winning a trust vote on the crutches of Congress, he insulted the mandate given to him in the 2010 Assembly election. Come election, the JDU must pay the price. On the otherhand, the BJP which has been liberated from an intimate enemy, stands rock solid. The party has made it clear that there is no rethink on Narendra Modi. Now, there is a feel-good factor amongst the BJP cadre in Bihar who have been long rallying behind their favourite leader.
The kind of support Modi is getting, it won’t be a difficult task for the BJP to trounce its former ally JDU and sweep the Hindi heartland with the ‘Nation First’ slogan in the next poll.