Nitish-Lalu bonhomie a case of political opportunism

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Nitish Kumar
Patna, June 25: Riding upon anti-Lalu sentiment across the State, Nitish Kumar came to power to become Bihar's Chief Minister with BJP's support in 2005 Assembly poll. Later in 2010, same NDA alliance led by Nitish made a resounding victory by getting three-fourth majority. But four years down the line, Bihar is witnessing a major paradigm shift in political dynamics as Nitish has joined hands with bête-noire Lalu Prasad to keep former ally BJP at bay.

In a sheer height of opportunism, former Bihar Chief Minister pleaded Lalu for their party support and that finally culminated in the victory of two of the JDU candidate in recently held Rajya Sabha election. After the decimation in Lok Sabha election RJD was already on back foot and to redeem its lost honour it accepted the invitation with open arms.

To foil the game of BJP which had supported two independent candidates, 21 RJD MLAs voted in favour of two JDU candidates for Rajya Sabha, thus bringing an end to 20-year-old rivalry.

21 RJD MLAs voted in favour of two JDU candidates for Rajya Sabha

Lalu not only said his support was based on the need of present times and hinted on the likelihood of his tie-up with Kumar in future as well when such a need arose.

"We are told that we should forget the past, should not worry about the future and think about the present. So I am taking this stand on the current agenda (Rajya Sabha election) ... I can't let the BJP's game succeed," Lalu told reporters.

JD(U) has 117 MLAs in the Assembly, including the Speaker, and enjoys support of four Congress MLAs and some Independents but rebellion by a section of legislators following the party's drubbing in Lok Sabha polls had made the victory of its two candidates a bit uncertain.

The support of opposition RJD, which is also plagued by dissidence, has proven to be crucial for the ruling JD(U).

The two politically decimated parties are now inching together and even pronouncing that they will contest together in the upcoming by-polls on 11 Assembly seats in the State and hinting towards a possible alliance for 2015 Assembly poll.

BJP's thumping victory in the recently concluded Lok Sabha poll has proved that people are not going to buy politics of opportunism.

The decisions taken by Nitish Kumar following its drubbing in Lok Sabha poll are not going to help him regain his lost ground as he has already made his party JD(U) vulnerable by instating a weak Chief Minister in Jitan Ram Manjhi, rather he should have continued in office to take the BJP affront.

Tainted Lalu Prasad Yadav, who couldn't ensure the victory of his wife and daughter in the Lok Sabha, will not be able to help him either. JD(U)'s main problem is internal bickering which Nitish has failed to quell.

Dissidence in the JD(U) grew wide ever since party registered dismal show in the Lok Sabha elections. JD(U) leadership in its last ditch effort to overcome internal factionalism and brewing rebellion disbanded its State executive committee. In the process, it divested present office bearers of the responsibilities held by them.

But it would be interesting to see whether this political mess created by JD(U)-RJD will send positive signals to people of Bihar. But chances of a better fortune for both JD(U) and RJD look grim as former is facing a credibility crisis and its association with the RJD will taint its image further. This will ultimately give a boost to the BJP which performed exceptionally well in Lok Sabha poll.

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