Bihar: Nitish Kumar's luncheon diplomacy

Posted By: Sarath
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Litti Chokha, Baingan-ka-Bharta, Kadhi Bari, Ghugni, thali, mutton biryani, chicken lazeez. ...and what not, they served everything to law makers and ministers to keep the flock together and line up them for the' day in Bihar politics.

Bihar assembly is going for the floor test on Friday, Feb 20, and it saw a series of lunch and dinner parties hosted by Nitish Kumar. JDU chief was more proactive of the lot in throwing parties for MLA's of his camp, five back-to-back parties in last three days.


A senior JD(U) leader said that the aim of these dinners and lunches is to foster unity among the legislators before the floor test in the Assembly. The feast hosted by RJD's Siddique saw leaders from JD(U), Congress and CPI.

It's do or die situation for both Chief Minster Jitan Ram Manjhi's and Nitish Kumar.

The political crisis in Bihar snowballed when Manjhi and Nitish had a fall out. While Manjhi will try to save his chair, Nitish Kumar will try to prove his is the popular leader in Bihar.

For Manjhi, who's fate as chief will be put to test on Friday, will want to see Nitish loyalists to switch sides.

Adding more spice to the event is BJP, who was not invited for any party, have decide to back Manjhi. The possibility of BJP MLAs voting in his favour came as a breather for crenelated Chief Minister Manjhi.

BJP has 87 MLAs in Bihar Legislative Assembly. With BJP support, Manjhi now just needs to marshal support of 30 more MLAs to reach the magic figure of 117 in Bihar House, whose effective strength is at 233.

Not the first time:

This is not the first time the Bihar is witnessing these kind of marathon feasts and royal treats. RJD chief Lalu Prasad's in the year 2000, had hosted a series of parties to keep the numbers of Congress MLAs, who held the key to the government formation, when Nitish sworn in as the chief minister despite majority.

Manjhi loyalists cry foul:

Manjhi loyalists are of the opinion that the back-to-back dinner and lunch parties show the desperation of Nitish Kumar and his lack of confidence in his MLAs. They alleged that it clearly indicates that the events are being organised for the purpose of horse-trading.

On the other hand, Bihar Congress said that even as they do support Nitish Kumar, the final decision to be a part of the new Nitish government, if formed, would be taken by the party high command. Congress had extended its support to Nitish Kumar after JDU's split with BJP before Lok Sabha election.

The grand finale would be hosted by none other than Nitish on Thursday night, the night before the number games in the House.

Bihar will be keenly looking forward to Friday, whether the dinner diplomacy really worked for Nitish Kumar.

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