Wed. Nov 25th, 2020
WHEELS OF FORTUNE – BIHAR ELECTIONS 2020

Patna: Wheels of election fortune are coming to an end very soon. The perceived

anti-incumbency factor is troubling Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the first time

since he came into power in 2005 and is doing everything which he did not do in

the past. It may be recalled that he didn’t allow Narendra Modi, then Chief

Minister of Gujarat to campaign in 2010 elections. L.K. Advani also didn’t want

to antagonise BJP partner in the State and Modi was refrained from campaigning.

However, after 15 years of ruling the State and wavering relations with BJP,

Nitish is heavily banking on Modi to sail through 2020 elections. The change in

his stance can be witnessed in election rallies addressed by Prime Minister Modi.

Nitish addresses in his speeches that “Shradheya (venerated) Pradhan Mantri

Narendra Modiji will make Bihar a developed state if NDA comes to power”. It

was an attempt to change the wheels of fortune in their favor.  The Prime Minister

also reciprocated by declaring Nitish Kumar as “Bhavi Mukhyamantri (next chief

minister)”. The JDU leadership is seeking support of BJP to bail the party out in

this election. Mr.Modi also want to keep its wheels in his favor.  Tejashwi Yadav

and Chirag Paswan both have disturbed the political arithmetic of Bihar in this

election.

Wheels are indicating that a change may take place

The huge gatherings in Tejashwi election rallies and his acerbic disparagements

against Nitish with Chirag Paswan, who is contesting independently to dislodge

Nitish Kumar out of power forced Nitish to rely on Narendra Modi magic. Modi

and Nitish were at the same dais in 2009 in Ludhiana at an NDA rally from where

L.K. Advani was contesting as Prime Minister candidate. Since then their

 relations have seen many turns and were at its lowest in 2010 when Nitish Kumar

cancelled a dinner for BJP delegates at the last minute in a protest against

publication of an advertisement in local media with the photograph taken at

Ludhiana. The advertisement was in connection with BJP national executive

meeting being attended by Narendra Modi. Nitish Kumar was not happy by the

gesture of Narendra Modi to raise his hand aloft to show solidarity of NDA

partners, which was clicked by the cameramen present there. A Bihar police team

also raided an office of Gujarat based agency who released the advertisement.

Corona lock down has changed the scenario all over India

Bihar government also returned Rs. 5 crores cheque given by Gujarat government

in aid of Kosi flood victims. BJP was always in silent mode as it need a regional

party to consolidate itself. The elevation of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister in

2013 at NDA Goa meet was the last nail in their relationship coffin. JDU broke its

ties with BJP and 17 years old alliance came to an end. The grand victory of JDU

in 2010 assembly elections in Bihar prompted Nitish Kumar to ensure BJP’s

defeat in 2014 Parliamentary elections but something else was in store for Nitish.

The sweeping victory of Narendra Modi all across India including Bihar sealed

his dream of becoming Prime Minister. Nitish thereafter joined hand with RJD in

2015 assembly polls. JDU won 71 seats and Nitish became Chief Minister once

again with the support of 80 RJD MLAs. However, his marriage with RJD was

soon over in 2017 and joined hands again with BJP.

Outcome of Chirag’s stand may effect NDA prospects

The outcome of these political moves by Nitish Kumar dented his credibility to

some extent and vitriolic campaign by Tejashwi-Chirag duo against him has given

opposition a strength and footing. With the caste ridden politics in Bihar and

seemingly tough challenges to JDU candidates in the first phase of polling spread

across 71 constituencies of 16 districts from opposition, Narendra Modi is

definitely a saviour for Nitish Kumar’s future.


 

By Rakesh Agarwal

A senior media professional with 30 years experience.

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