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Nitish Kumar’s snapping ties with BJP gives a new dimension to regional politics

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Image: PTI

Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to finish almost all regional political parties gradually, from Shiv Sena to BSP; there are several local parties that have lost their relevance. They not only finish the party but also make sure that they never come back. BJP has its machinery, Media, and IT cell in place to spread all sorts of negative publicity and perception about their allies. ED IT and CBI are doing most of the job. One by one all small parties have lost their credibility in BJP’s dictatorial attitude. One has to join BJP to ensure their political survival or else they would be hassled with all that they never ever imagined.

BJP was planning how to weaken the Shiv Sena and create a division in the party. ED chased almost all Shiv Sena leaders; most of them were on the verge of going to jail. Most of those corrupt leaders joined BJP and they are given a clean chit. Within two and half years, BJP demolished Maha Vikas Aghadi because Uddhav was not capable enough of holding his leaders against the pressure of ED. With Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar breaking his alliance with the BJP on August 9 and submitting his resignation, it seemed like a repeat of history in the state’s politics.

Nitish had also submitted a list of 164 MLAs and staked a claim to form a new government. Back in July 2017, Nitish had stormed out of the ruling grand alliance—which his party Janata Dal (United) had stitched in 2015 with the RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) and the Congress—to team up with the BJP and form a new government. Five years on, the same script has been replayed; only that the BJP was on the losing side this time. Nitish had dumped the BJP in June 2013 too. The reason cited was the BJP choosing Narendra Modi as the chief of its 2014 Lok Sabha poll campaign committee. The JD (U) went on to ally with the RJD and the Congress and won the 2015 Bihar assembly polls.

Now, Nitish formed an alternative government with RJD, with the backing of over 160 MLAs. In the 243-member Bihar assembly, the JD (U), which has 45 MLAs, enjoyed a comfortable majority in association with the RJD (79 MLAs), Congress (19), CPI (ML) (12), CPM (2), HAM (Secular) (4) and one Independent. The wide alliance will certainly command a big majority. The current strength of the assembly is 242 (one seat is vacant), and the simple majority mark is 121. The BJP had 77 MLAs.

The immediate trigger for Nitish’s change of heart was the BJP’s alleged attempt to poach JD (U) MLAs. Though the BJP has denied these allegations, JD (U) sources claim party rebel RCP Singh had attempted to wean away JD (U) legislators at the behest of the BJP. At least six JD (U) MLAs have in possession audio clips allegedly of phone calls made to them to break away from their party in return for cabinet berths in an alternative government. Nitish had to rush to his decision to part ways with the BJP after ‘inputs’ convinced him about a poaching plan to weaken his hold on the JD(U).

JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh had, on August 7, spoken about a ‘conspiracy’ hatched in 2020 to cut Nitish to size using the ’Chirag Paswan model‘, and another one now to try and destabilize the Nitish government again. The JD(U) and BJP have not been on the same page on a number of issues, such as the National Register of Citizens (NRC), uniform civil code, holding of namaz in public places, wearing hijab in government educational institutions, use of loudspeakers at religious places, Pegasus spyware scandal, and a caste census for Bihar. Recently, BJP president J.P. Nadda had reportedly commented about the bleak future of regional parties, adding to the JD (U)’s annoyance. Though the shape of the new government—as and when it becomes a reality—is still unknown, it is almost certain that RJD’s de facto boss Tejashwi Yadav will have a big say in its functioning. Tejashwi, besides being the leader of the single-largest party in the Bihar assembly, has grown in stature since 2015, when he debuted as deputy CM in the Nitish government. Tejashwi, who is now a deputy CM in the new government as well, will have considerable influence. Nitish Kumar had pulled the plug on his party JD(U)’s the alliance with the BJP by forming a new government in Bihar with the support of the opposition Grand Alliance.

In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena and BJP were together for several years, he pointed out. The BJP is planning how the Shiv Sena can be weakened by creating a division in the party, and (present Maharashtra CM) Eknath Shinde and others helped. In doing this, the Shiv Sena was attacked by the party which was once its ally. A similar picture was being seen in Bihar. Nitish Kumar, of the JD(U), and the BJP contested the last Assembly elections together.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Tamanhttps://authorvaidehi.com
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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