Bihar Fiasco Wake Up Call For Opposition Once Again In The Dumps
Nitish Kumar makes a 'ghar wapsi' to the BJP which is now part of the government in Bihar. Nitish Kumar will have to bid adieu to his ambitions of becoming Prime Minister for some time.
With Nitish Kumar making a 'ghar wapsi' to the delight of the BJP making a mockery of the 'mahagatbandhan' formed by the JD (U), RJD and the Congress in 2015, he has dashed the hopes of a combined opposition taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Lotus party in the 2019 general elections.
While retaining the chief ministership of the battle ground state in the Hindi heartland after comfortably winning the vote of confidence in the Bihar assembly yesterday on Friday (July 28), he may have been compelled to bid adieu to his ambitions of occupying the Prime Minister's "kursi" at least in the forseeable future. He has, however, maintained time and again in the past that he was not in the race for that office in the imposing South Block on the majestic Raisina Hill.
There were ample indications of Lalu Prasd Yadav's RJD being dumped in the wake of investigations against the members of the family allegedly involved in corruption scandals. Credit must be given to the strategists in the Lotus party for keeping the goings on close to their chest and regaining power in Patna in tandem with the Janata Dal (United).
The inevitable has a happened. Lalu Prasad's dynastic ambitions of reportedly feathering the family's nest by being in power either in Bihar or at the Centre has suffered a severe setback. The raids by the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate on the Lalu Prasad family including his wife Rabri Devi and the preliminarly findings point to grave financial irregularities led to the breakup.
With the wily Nitish Kumar back as chief minister in tandem with the BJP led NDA, he is enjoying the best of both the worlds. Lalu brought upon himself the parting of ways with Nitish as he remained adamant asserting Tejaswi will not resign. For Nitish Kumar his pursuit of being clean and a person of integrity would have tarnished his image if he had associated himself with Tejaswi, who was no less than the Deputy chief minister in his government.
However, if Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi knew three-four months back that something was cooking between Nitish Kumar and the saffron brigade, he cannot absolve himself of the responsibility for the breakup of the 'mahagatbandhan'. He lacked the political acumen to intervene effectively rather than allowing matters to come to such a pass. It does not solve problems by observing "in this country leaders are only interested in protecting and preserving their ministerial births".
In the prevailing circumstances the reduced 17-party opposition is in no position to stop Modi and the BJP winning a second consecutive term in office because of their reverses in assembly elections and the skeletons tumbling out of the cupboards.
At the same time Modi must realise the problems connected with the demands of the Sangh Parivar and his agenda of development was adversely affecting the credibility of his regime.