Was Nitish Kumar ‘punished’ for going against the BJP line?
Nitush Kumar's JD-U was offered only one berth in Modi cabinet
PATNA: Was Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar who heads the ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U) “punished” for going against the BJP line while at the same time seeking votes in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi?
The million-dollar question is being hotly debated in the political circles after the JD-U which made terrific performance in LS polls in Bihar was offered just one berth in the Narendra Modi cabinet.
The JD-U had won 16 of the 17 LS seats it had contested but after “humiliating” treatment at the hands of the BJP, it has now declared not to be a part of the Narendra Modi cabinet in future.
Political observers cite various reasons behind such treatment to the JD-U. One of them is said to be the different stand taken by the JD-U over the contentious issues like Article 370, Uniform Civil Code and construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya which the BJP regularly raised at the election rallies.
The chief minister never spoke a word over these contentious issues all though his month-long poll campaign but took a different line once the elections were over.
“The JD-U is totally against abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and implementation of Uniform Civil Code while Ayodhya dispute should be resolved through mutual consent or court’s intervention,” Nitish Kumar had told the media on May 21, shortly after the seven-phased LS elections were over.
Not only that, he also had strongly condemned the statements of BJP candidate from Bhopal, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who had passed insulting remarks against Mahatma Gandhi.
“Her remarks can’t be tolerated,” Kumar had told the media earlier though describing it as the internal matter of the BJP.
Pragya Thakur had described Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, as a patriot although she apologized for her remarks later.
Nitish Kumar had also showed contempt for Prime Minister Modi when he continued sitting silently on the dais and not joining the PM chanting “vande matram”, experts recall. Kumar had only hesitatingly stood up from his seat when everyone on the dais stood up to make shouting look more powerful and frenzied.
The chief minister had also made a hard bargain with the BJP during the seat-sharing talks and had forced the saffron party leave five of its sitting seats for the JD-U as he remained hell-bent on his demand that both the JD-U and the BJP should contest on equal number of seats.
It was under tremendous pressures from the chief minister that the BJP had to leave five of its sitting seats to the JD-U as the former had to battle really hard to tackle rebellion in the party camps.
The five sitting seats which the BJP had to give to the JD-U include Gaya, Siwan, Valmikinagar, Gopalganj and Jhanjharpur.