Bangalore, Sept 4: All political parties in India are opportunists but none can perhaps beat the JD(U), the ruling party in Bihar, on this count. It has minimum ideological clarity and display shameless 'secularism' even while speaking about tall ideals.
Noise over Vanzara but silent on Bhatkal
We have two examples. First, the party remained strangely silent over the arrest of Imdian Mujahideen (IM) founding member Yasin Bhatkal from the state in August end. It is believed that the party did not want to raise much noise keeping in view the minority vote-bank in northern Bihar for after divorcing the BJP, Nitish Kumar's vote-bank equations have been rattled.
Having annoyed the upper-caste voters, Kumar would not like to alienate the Muslims either, analysts said. This analysis causes a big setback in our mind. The 'secular' leaders of this country can not afford to chase a terrorist because they fear of losing votes! Former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi mocked the JD(U), saying if the latter described Ishrat Jahan as Bihar's daughter, it might also call Bhatkal as the (damaad) state's son-in-law for he married a woman from Samastipur.
If Ishrat Jahan is Bihar's daughter, will Bhatkal be its damaad, asked a BJP man
But the same JD(U) doesn't hesitate to lambast Narendra Modi over former Gujarat IPS officer Vanzara's sensational letter criticising the state administration. The JD(U) accused Modi of trying 'use and throw' policy. One party leader even said that they don't want Modi to quit but contest the Lok Sabha elections next year as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, for then the people of the country would give him an 'answer'.
Why doesn't the JD(U) keep a close watch on the happenings in its own state and stop thinking about what's happening in another state? A series of tragedy unfolded in Bihar in the recent past (Maoist attack, blasts, mid-day meal tragedy, railway mishap) and the state administration needs to address those issues on an urgent basis. But has there been any progress?
Congress and its food bill more important than a federal front?
The second example of the JD(U)'s unreliable and opportunist politics was witnessed during the passage of the Food Security Bill (FSB) in the Rajya Sabha. Political observers felt that the JD(U), after its divorce with the BJP, would tilt towards other regional parties from eastern India like the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJD, which had also ditched either of the two national parties at some point of time, and form a federal front. But when an opportunity arose to show the solidarity, the JD(U) didn't bother to back the TMC's demand for an amendment in the FSB in the Rajya Sabha.
TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had been backing a federal front with Nitish Kumar and other regional parties to counter the Centre on the question of states' rights but when her party opposed the FSB on the grounds that the bill was imposing a limitation on the state's rights, the JD(U) didn't respond.
The UPA, despite being a minority in the Rajya Sabha, managed to get the bill passed because parties like Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and JD(U), which are often seen at loggerheads with the Congress over issues like corruption and central funds, backed it.
Do parties like the JD(U) can be trusted on the question of national security and strong economy? No, but they can surely be trusted on the question of pseudo-secularism and populist politics.