Nitish babu is in a bad mood nowadays. Ever since he broke alliance with BJP, “shani” is looming large over his fortunes. Bodh gaya blasts, death of children in midday meal scheme and rebellion in party all this has flustered him. On top of this NaMo wave is gripping the state and Janata Dal (United) is being relegated to the third spot even behind fodder scam convicted Lalu in surveys.
What made Nitish dump BJP?
His uneasiness with Modi’s appointment as Election Campaign Chief and perhaps jealousy forced him to dump BJP. How could he see his peer CM become Prime Ministerial face of NDA! But he is an astute politician and he definitely would have understood the arithmetic that the decision could prove counter-productive. JDU along with BJP sweeped the state in 2009 Lok Sabha Elections bagging 32 out of 40 seats (20 JDU + 12 BJP).
First of all the fact that his party without the help of BJP would still be able to run the state govt. in Bihar provided comfort to take the punt. Then he thought that as he deserted BJP, Congress would give him a trophy and welcome him into UPA. He felt that he would bargain for a special status for Bihar and get an economic package which would pacify the public anger against him for breaking alliance. He believed Congress which has lately had an uneasy relationship with Lalu, plus fodder scam allegations against Lalu would draw Congress away from Lalu towards him. Congress partnership would bring minority votes to his party and he would be able to maintain his position of 20 seats as last time. Plus his govt. has done good development work in the state. With this strategy he wooed Sonia, economic package to be bartered with pre-poll alliance.
What went wrong?
Congress was worried over Nitish’s credentials. After all he was for 17 years with BJP. Plus a section of JDU was not in favour of breaking the alliance with BJP, proved by recent desertions and suspensions. Sonia was worried that JDU could split post elections. Plus Lalu was a loyal soldier whereas Nitish a “chaalu” neta. Lalu in no way could dump Congress and join BJP. With JDU expected to do badly as per surveys, Congress thus has made up mind to forge a Lalu-Paswan-Congress-NCP grand alliance. Corruption is not a big issue in Bihar, caste politics is. This has left Nitish crying. He is singing this song nowadays “Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera Toda, Barbadi Ki Taraf Mujhe Moda”.
Sonia – Nitish spat over AMU
His uneasy relationship with Sonia was evident in the foundation-laying ceremony of Aligarh Muslim University in Kisanganj Bihar. Earlier he was not even invited by Union Humar Resources Ministry. A sulking Nitish thundered that the central government had taken the ‘cowardly’ decision as it was afraid that Bihar government would get credit for the AMU centre. Congress hit back at Nitish for raking up a controversy over the issue by saying that AMU centre was a ‘dream project’ of Sonia Gandhi and ‘the CM in the garb of AMU is trying to derive political advantage’ by ‘hoodwinking’ Muslims. Anyways he got the invitation and cold vibes between Sonia and him were visible during the event.
Last ditch effort to woo Paswan also failed
Paswan was reportedly unhappy with seat sharing arrangements with Lalu. He had even gone to Sonia and asked her to ally with JDU as per reports. Hearing this Nitish tried to rope in Paswan but he also in the end decided to stay with Lalu. Chamcha Paswan has left it to his mentor Sonia to stitch the issue of seat sharing with Lalu.
Nitish’s condition is now that of “Mungeri Lal” who enjoys his sweet dreams even during daytime. With loss looming large, split in party evident, last heard he was trying to work up together a “Janata Parivar” revival. All the best Nitish! Jab mati maari jaati hai, to yahi hota hai! Sharad Yadav is cursing the day he agreed to go with Nitish’s decision to split with BJP.