As Nitish adopts ‘pressure tactics’ against BJP, will it help to end JD(U)’s isolation in Bihar?
Patna, July 3: The fissures in the coalition government in Bihar are becoming more and more apparent with each passing day. If sources are to be believed, the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the eastern state is on the verge of collapse and it is only a matter of time before the "inconvenient marriage" between the alliance partners will end in a "divorce".
More troubles have emerged between the JD(U) and the BJP, after the former has decided to contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram against its Bihar ally.
The Assembly polls in the four states are the big test for the BJP before the all-important Lok Sabha elections scheduled in April/May next year. The elections in the four states will take place in December. In fact, the saffron party is in power in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and is facing massive anti-incumbency wave in all the three states.
Mizoram is one of the last few states where the Congress is in power and the grand old party will try its best to save its last fort in Northeast India after the BJP took control of the entire region in the last few Assembly elections.
The decision of the JD(U) to fight against the BJP in the Assembly elections in the four states did not come as a major surprise to many as the trouble between the two "friends" in Bihar is already out in the open. What, however, raised a few eyebrows is the timing of the JD(U) to announce its decision to go solo in the four Assembly elections.
In fact, Bihar chief minister and JD(U) boss Nitish Kumar is scheduled to meet BJP president Amit Shah in a couple of days from now. The latest step of the JD(U) is seen by many as pressure tactics against the BJP to allocate more Lok Sabha seats to Nitish's party.
Interestingly, the JD(U) hardly has any presence in all the four states and the Bihar's ruling party contesting the upcoming polls against the BJP will definitely impact the saffron party's final tally. The JD(U) is also a part of the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre.
Justifying its decision to fight the four Assembly elections, JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi told The Times of India, "After Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav deviated from the socialist agenda, Nitish Kumar has decided to revisit places that used to be the socialist strongholds."
Political pundits say that the JD(U) talking about "socialistic agenda" after joining hands with the BJP last year is a mockery of the whole ideology. "It is quite clear why the JD(U) is contesting elections in the four states. Nitish' party, which has been badly ignored by its own ally, BJP, wants to nudge the saffron party a bit to take it seriously," said a Delhi-based columnist.
From the BJP's high-handedness, denial of special package to Bihar by the Centre to the reluctance of the saffron party to decide on the distribution of seats among the partners for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Nitish's discomfort with his alliance partner is growing with each passing day.
It would be interesting to see what will be the fate of the coalition government in Bihar, especially ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.