PATNA: The strains in the BJP-JD-U relations are slowly reflecting on the face of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.
A little over three months after he suddenly joined hands with his arch-rival, Prime Minister Narendra Modi apparently finding his future secure in the company of the BJP, Kumar on Monday dropped ample hints about his growing irritations with his new partner.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the chief minister on Monday openly expressed displeasure over last-minute cancellation of a power ministers’ conference which was scheduled to be held in Rajgir last week, saying the decision to call off the event at the eleventh hour was “impractical” and had led to “embarrassment”.
According to him, the move didn’t sound good since quite many of the delegates had already arrived to attend the function.
“I think making the announcement of cancellation at the last moment was impractical. It caused embarrassment,” Mr Kumar told newsmen yesterday on the sidelines of his weekly interaction with the masses.
What has come as a severe embarrassment to the chief minister that he himself was personally overseeing the preparations since it was being organized in his home district of Nalanda.
Last week, he himself rushed to Rajgir, the district headquarters of Nalanda, to review all preparations.
Added to this, the stage was ready for the guests and a musical troupe led by Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam too had arrived in the capital to entertain them but the function was cancelled by the Centre barely hours before it was to start.
Observers say this is Narendra Modi’s style of “humiliating” the man who had once cancelled the dinner in honour of visiting BJP dignitaries—Modi himself included—who arrived in Patna to attend party’s national executive meeting in 2010.
The Bihar chief minister who was a BJP ally then had cancelled the dinner just after the BJP ran an advertisement in local dailies featuring Kumar shaking hands with Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat.
This was not the first time that the Bihar chief minister had suffered embarrassment.
Last month, the Prime Minister publicly rejected Kumar’s appeal to grant central status Patna University despite his repeated emotional appeals. The chief minister had made this appeal on the centenary year function of Patna University where the PM was the chief guest.
Earlier in September, the Prime Minister refused to induct any leader from Kumar’s JD-U in his cabinet although the latter brought the BJP to power despite having lost the 2015 assembly elections very badly.
The BJP had won only 53 seats out of Bihar’s total 243 in spite of vigorous poll campaign by the PM who himself addressed no less than 30 election rallies—an average one rally in each Bihar district.
What was more humiliating, the JD-U was not even extended an invite to attend the function at the Rashtriya Bhawan.
Again in August this year, the Prime Minister “avoided” lunch with the chief minister at latter residence in Patna.
As per earlier itinerary, the PM was to visit the residence of the chief minister and take lunch with him after conducting an aerial survey of the flooded districts.
However it was cancelled later even though all the arrangements for his lunch had been made, reports said.