Regime change in Bihar is a positive development for the opposition

By Arun Srivastava

In the fierce battle to bolster political supremacy between the two Chanakyas, Nitish Kumar kicked Amit Shah to the dust by aborting his Operation Lotus mission, an effort to remove Chief Minister Nitish from power and also restructure his task to end another regional party. . , this time JD(U) from Nitish, and create a new Eknath Sinde in Bihar.

Despite Shah’s criminal conduct, it was particularly Narendra Modi’s arrogance and contempt for others that prompted Nitish Kumar to leave the NDA as the country celebrated Quit India Day. Nitish might not have resorted to this extreme move, had Modi and Shah not conspired to insult him, topple his government and cast him in a bad light through his colleagues and party leaders.

Before handing in his resignation to Governor Fagu Mahato, he had recounted the insult and humiliation inflicted on him by Modi and Shah. Nitish told lawmakers and MPs from his party, at a meeting he called at his official residence, that the BJP had pushed him against the wall and tried to weaken his JD(U), first by supporting Chirag Paswan’s rebellion and then by through the former national party chairman RCP Singh. It is an open secret that the relationship between Modi and Nitish has been souring for quite some time over disagreements on a number of issues, including the caste census, population control and Agnipath’s defense recruitment scheme. Lately, the BJP legislators had a habit of questioning Nitish Kumar’s decisions and moves and even accusing him of all kinds of mistakes. The worst has been the case of the Speaker of the Assembly, who did not have a good working relationship with Nitish. In fact, Nitish had asked Modi and Shah to replace him with some leader.

Although Modi and Shah in their public postures seemed quite friendly towards Nitish, the fact was that they always instigated their leaders to demote him. Not that Monday’s development was unexpected. In fact, for the past six months they have been locked in a war of wits. It was the July 31 statement by party chairman JP Nadda that forced him to go his own way. Nadda had claimed that only the BJP would survive and all other parties, including regional parties, would perish in the country. Since JD-U is a regional party, this message was taken as a warning.

Those who know Nadda and are aware of his operating style claim that he was delivering the dialogue that Shah taught him. However, some people feel that Nadda was responsible for the exacerbation of the crisis. But this is not the case. Nitish would react in this way beyond his imagination. Once Shah realized that the situation was getting out of hand, he called Nitish on Sunday night to ease his pain. But it was too late. Nitish was ready to move on.

Nitish’s decision should not be seen simply as a setback for the saffron party in Bihar. It was a broader involvement across the country. The tweets and responses from opposition parties make it abundantly clear that this incident has roused the opposition to take on the saffron brigade. In fact, the BJP leaders are not simply surprised by Nitish’s move, they are afraid of future political developments in the country. Political change in Bihar would invariably energize opposition leaders who had given up hope and assumed that the electoral dynamic for the big battle in 2024 is out of reach with the perceived absence of a visible alternative to the dominant Modi.

Nitish reviving and restructuring the Mahagathbandhan, a forum of the RJD, Congress, the left and some democratic organisations, and becoming Prime Minister would repudiate the BJP’s move to identify with the aspirations of Dalits and CBOs. The response of the people and their approval of Nitish’s split with the BJP clearly underlined that the support base of the Dalits and the OBC has started to consolidate in favor of Mahagathbandhan. BJP had conspired to damage the JD-U by using Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan who fielded candidates against all JD(U) contenders in the 2020 state election. This reduced Kumar’s party tally to 43 and it weakened his position in the National Democratic Party. Alliance (NDA).

The installation of the Mahagathbandhan government on Wednesday, headed by Nitish with Tejashvi as Dy CM, would also witness the revival of social justice politics. It is true that Modi and Shah are afraid of the specter of losing this new support base that had gathered behind the BJP during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Haunted by this fear, the BJP launched a personal attack on Nitish and used the phrase of the leader “Paltu”. They accuse him of going against the mandate of the people. But at the same time they forget the exploits of their leaders Modi and Shah, who have been the main responsible for triggering the present crisis.

Political pundits are of the opinion that Nitish Kumar’s decision to return to the secular fold is a big boost as JDU, RJD, Congress, CPI-ML, SP and other opposition parties make up a significant part of the vote bank. In fact, this element has convinced the head of Congress, Sonia Gandhi, to support him when Nitish called her and sought support.

The exercise to remove former union minister RC Prasad Singh from the party was not simply a punitive action against him, but had broader implications. It was a strong message for Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to stay away from Bihar. Nitish had learned that Modi and Shah had hatched a plot to end his political career. They were simply waiting for the right moment. Shah was following his Maharashtra script. But even before he could take concrete form, Nitish, the cunning politician, torpedoed him.

Bihar sends 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha and played a key role, along with Uttar Pradesh, in making Modi Prime Minister in 2014 and 2019. With the BJP already losing ground in the UP, as manifested in the Assembly elections, it is you may have to bend over. outside the boxing ring in Bihar.

The CPI(ML), which has around 12 MLAs in Bihar, has decided not to join the new ministry. According to Dipankar Bhattacharya, the general secretary, he would play the role of the opposition within the government. Dipankar maintains that “all our effort would be to ensure that the benefits of the government reach the people at ground level. We have to make sure that the credibility of the new government is not damaged and its image is not tarnished”.(IPA Service)

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