Nitish’s Exit Certain Even if BJP Makes Him CM

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Right now, the BJP leadership is underlining its pre-poll commitment to continue with Nitish as Chief Minister even though his Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has bagged much fewer seats. — ANI

A major challenge for the saffron party would be to find an alternative to the JD-U leader. BJP derives strength from the upper castes but given the dynamics of the state, a CM from the upper caste would be politically incorrect

Shaheen Nazar | Clarion India

THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finally arrived in Bihar. For the past 15 years, it was playing a second fiddle to Nitish Kumar who has been dictating terms to its junior partner. The state leadership of the saffron party has never been happy about it, especially after BJP gained power at the Centre.

But Narendra Modi’s party had no way to bypass Nitish. Chirag Paswan’s high-pitch campaign against him is said to be a part of BJP’s strategy to cut its long-time ally to size. God knows. But the way Chirag has damaged Nitish at the hustings gives credence to this conspiracy theory.

Right now, the BJP leadership is underlining its pre-poll commitment to continue with Nitish as Chief Minister even though his Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has bagged much fewer seats–-43 against 71 of BJP.

“Our bosses have already declared that Nitish Kumar is going to be our Chief Minister,” BJP’s Bihar unit president Sanjay Jaiswal told The Indian Express. Home Minister Amit Shah dialled him on Tuesday night amid the rising-trend election results in favour of BJP. Though no details are available, it was apparently meant for a reassurance to his party’s long-time ally.

So, Nitish is all set to create history in Bihar by becoming Chief Minister for the fourth time. But will he be the same leader who had been blocking Modi of the infamous Gujarat massacre from landing in Bihar. He did so with utmost authority until 2013, the year he parted ways with BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the wake of Modi’s emergence as BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. Even after returning to the NDA fold in 2017, Nitish continued to maintain his upper hand in the alliance and BJP had no way but to keep him in good humour.

But now the tables have turned. It’s BJP’s turn to call the shots. The party’s state leaders would like to get the CM post sooner than later. They may not make noise at the moment but they would do everything to frustrate him. The Central leadership would likely tolerate him until crucial state elections in West Bengal, Assam and Kerala.

For BJP, winning Bihar is a bigger catch than West Bengal. It was part of the ruling coalition but not in a position to follow its agenda the way it is able to do in neighbouring UP or other BJP-ruled states.

A major challenge for the saffron party would be to find an alternative to Nitish. It derives strength from the upper castes but given the dynamics of the state, a CM from the upper caste would be politically incorrect. For the past 30 years, Bihar has been ruled by Nitish, Rabri and Lalu, all from backward castes.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP also comes from a backward caste. But the Central leadership of the party is said to be unhappy with him because of his failure to offer himself as a formidable leader.

While Nitish’s departure is all but certain, the just-concluded assembly elections have heralded the dawn of a new leader in the form of Tejashwi Yadav. Though he has been denied power, he has proved his point and established himself as a force to reckon with.

theclarionindia
theclarionindiahttps://clarionindia.net
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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