PATNA: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s second innings with the BJP is proving to be a “disaster” at least that is what appear given a series of recent developments.
Kumar had apparently hoped to “retain” his previous position in the NDA but things have gone awry since he returned to the NDA last July, experts believe.
They say his return to the NDA has helped neither Bihar nor his party, the JD-U, so far while everyone in the JD-U claimed then the state would move faster on the path to progress with “double-engine” government.
The utter “desperation” in the JD-U camp looked clear when the party announced to stay away from by-elections to three seats—one Lok Sabha and two assembly seats in Bihar.
“It’s really strange. While every party is girding up loins to jump into the poll contest to test political waters ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections due early next year, the JD-U has walked out of the contest,” commented a political expert.
The JD-U has decided against contesting these seats on the ground that none of them was represented by the party.
“Given this criteria, the JD-U should be given only two LS seats to contest in the next polls by the BJP. Again, if the JD-U thinks it the criteria to get seats, then it shouldn’t have demanded 100 seats to contest from the RJD during the last 2015 assembly polls,” remarked another expert, adding the JD-U is fast losing its ground owing to bizarre explanations.
The chief minister looked helplessness once again when instead of raising the issue of “neglect” of Bihar in the general budget, he instead thanked the centre.
“It would not be correct to say that Bihar has been ignored in the Union Budget. The state’s share in tax revenue has been put at Rs 76,000 crore. Our own expectation was much less than that. The decision (for the political realignment) was taken in the interests of Bihar,” was how the chief minister was quoted as saying in the local media.
But the industry people have something other to say. “The people of Bihar particularly industrial sector were expecting announcement of some special scheme or special financial package but their hopes were dashed,” says Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries chairperson PK Agarwal rued.
It also didn’t go well among the masses when the chief minister went on to defend the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat who had made peculiar comments over the Indian Army. Bhagwat was quoted as saying in the media that the RSS could assemble its cadres to fight much faster than the Indian army.
“What is wrong in it? As per my information he has talked about readiness of his organisation for the defending country’s border. It should be welcomed if any civil organisation does that. I don’t think there is any harm in that,” was how Kumar defended the RSS.
The remarks look indeed “absurd” if contrasted with Kumar’s own statement—at one of the rallies he addressed in UP in August 2016—where he had advocated for making “Sangh-mukt Bharat.