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Thursday, June 8, 2023

The flip-flop politician’s latest antic in Bihar could be his last

Flip flop politician and JD(u) leader Nitish Kumar has switched sides again at not being made the Vice-presidential candidate by the NDA just as he switched sides when Modi was declared as the NDA prime- ministerial candidate in 2013. Politics makes strange bedfellows but in the case of Nitish it is the politician who keeps hopping onto different political beds rather frequently. 

But one thing that has not changed  is his CM status.The Bhishma Pitamah of Bihar politics continues to be CM as he now heads the Mahagathbandhan again probably for the last time. His party could face the wrath of the people  at the hustings for the latest flip by Nitish but till then he is at the helm albeit with  a different alliance.

This gives an opportunity  to Tejashwi Yadav- whose party has the highest  number of seats in the current Vidhan Sabha – to taste power in Bihar and wrest some key portfolios from his uncle Nitish. 

The BJP’s attempt to do a Maharashtra  like coup in Bihar failed and the party’s  strength  in the house of elders will fall way short of majority giving it a headache in the passing of legislation in the Rajya Sabha. Moreover in the absence of Sushil Modi in Bihar the BJP will have to cultivate a new leader before the next election. 

Will Nitish and JD(u)’s vote bank take a hit after this latest manoeuvre only time will tell but Tejashwi must be smacking his lips at the  turn of events which has virtually handed him power on a platter. He is now in the driver’s seat and can push his own agenda and that of his party RJD in Bihar with aplomb.

Congress and the Left will also get a share of their pie in the new power structure and both parties would welcome whatever comes their way. The Congress which has been bereft of power across the country will also get a sniff of power as part of the Mahagathbandhan with 19 seats and would help the party in erasing some memories of Maharashtra. 

However, the real gainer from this realignment of parties will be Tejashwi Yadav and his RJD. After having emerged as the single largest  party in a keenly contested election Tejashwi could only watch helplessly as his uncle Nitish was catapulted to power with the support  of the BJP in 2020.

He would have to wait for another 5 years to have another shot but true to his whimsical nature & erratic nature, Nitish dumped the BJP in favour of the RJD and the Mahagathbandhan presenting the young Yadav with  a God sent opportunity. 

With 3 more years remaining for the current assembly RJD is sure to call the shots in the new government with 79 MLA’S. With Nitish’s ego placated with the CM’s chair Tejashwi will have no hesitation in pushing his own agenda vigorously with an eye on the next assembly and the Lok Sabha elections.

Will the jungle raj return in Bihar and the law and order take a backseat. Perhaps the BJP could have played its cards better in Bihar or was it outsmarted by Nitish and Tejashwi.

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Aman Gupta
Aman Gupta
Political Editor, Samast Bharat magazine


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