During the Bihar elections in 2015, when Modi praised Nitish Kumar in his speech, no one knew that two years down the lane, there would be an alliance between Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In one of his election speeches, Modi mentioned Nitish Kumar seven times, praising him for his various requests and suggestions related to Bihar’s development.
At that time, the aim seemed to be the forging of an alliance between NDA and JDU in the elections.
But Nitish stayed true to his commitment to the Mahagathbandhan. Eventually, the government was formed with Nitish Kumar as the chief minister (CM) and Tejashwi Yadav as the deputy CM.
In the past few months, however, allegations of corruption against the Lalu family worsened – especially those involving Tejashwi Yadav. This was followed by raids at Misa Bharti’s farmhouses. Sushil Kumar Modi also left no stones unturned to discredit the Lalu family.
On Wednesday, CM Nitish Kumar resigned from his position citing that his conscience would not allow him to carry on, and he could not work in such a situation. He then took oath as Bihar’s ‘new’ CM, with Sushil Kumar Modi becoming the deputy CM.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Sushil Kumar Modi soon becomes a Union minister or even a CM – perhaps, as a reward for his bravery and ‘wickedness’.
Corruption and Lalu rarely seem to be apart from each other. He has been jailed for it and is now out on bail.
The amusing part is that Nitish Kumar was okay with taking the help of a corrupt family for winning the elections. However, now, he suddenly evokes morality. After all, this is politics!
Whatever the reason may be, it is never too late to take a good stand!
So here’s a synopsis: Nitish took advantage of Lalu to win the elections. And the BJP took advantage of Nitish to malign the already-maligned Lalu family to have a say in the government.
Nowadays, it seems that most politicians and parties are opportunists. As soon as they get the opportunity, they grab it and cripple the other side till the very end. So, let’s not even bring the issue of ‘moral integrity’ here!
Even though they have an undefeated mandate, Bihar is one of the states in which the BJP faced defeat. So there isn’t any reason for BJP to not use the divide-and-rule policy to break the Mahagathbandhan.
The spin here is that BJP can and will sideline Nitish whenever they feel their motives and agendas have been fulfilled. Being a national party, BJP does not have much to lose. But JDU, being a regional party which is restricted to only a few seats in Bihar, has plenty to lose and a lot to risk.
The next Lok Sabha elections are just two years away Going by the present state of affairs and the management by the NDA government, it is most likely that the BJP will lose seats. To counter such a possibility, they need to have a regional party by their side – especially in a state like Bihar, where they don’t have the mandate.
Nitish Kumar could be of much help to them. However, going by the history of politics in India, political friendships such as these aren’t likely to last long.
What will happen when Nitish Kumar is thrown out of the NDA camp? Well, Nitish Kumar is no fool. He knows how to maintain friendships that can benefit him politically – the biggest example being the Mahagathbandhan. Quite sensibly, Nitish Kumar is not making any personal attacks on Lalu and his family.
He is smarter than most of us – but not as smart as Amit Shah!
A version of this post was first published here.