Bihar is the sufferer
JD(U) ends 17-year ties with BJP in Bihar
I was in Patna on June 16, when the 17-year-old political alliance between BJP and JD(U) was snapped. Keeping in view the political heat, generated both in Patna and Delhi for some time, the snapping of the ties was, however, not shocking or unexpected. Soon after the formal announcement by Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav in Patna, the workers of both the parties were seen celebrating the split. But it was not a day of celebration for the people of Bihar.
Both the parties are claiming that the people of Bihar are with them. But fact is that the common man of the state is silently weighing the loss and gain of both the parties. Since such a loss or gain for any party is expressed only through voting, the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections will display it perfectly. The elections are due in early 2014, but the political observers are predicting them any time this year also. Therefore, there is not much time to see the result.
Both the parties are blaming each other for this split. The blame-game will continue till elections. Being a national party, the BJP will obviously go to the polls with an agenda, which covers the national issues. Therefore, it will carry forward the party’s commitment for the betterment of the entire nation. The BJP manifesto will naturally count all the failures of the ruling UPA and its alliance partners, while the JD(U) may confine to Bihar only. The JD(U) may also loudly point out its achievements.
The prime question is whether the collective achievements of the NDA government in Bihar are the achievements of the JD(U) alone. Biharis are known to be politically more conscious than the people of any other state. Even the labour class in villages can be seen discussing political parties, their leaders and also their agenda. It is a known fact that Shri Nitish Kumar had been trying to project himself as a great leader of the state for some time. When he started his career as Chief Minister in 2005, some compared him with the first Chief Minister of Bihar the late Krishna Singh. Nitish also tried to follow some of his footsteps.
It is obvious that in his whole career, he has been trying to take away the credit for all the positive and people-friendly works done by the coalition government. It was the time when developmental work began from zero. The credit for it goes to the collective efforts of the NDA Government and surely not to the Chief Minister alone. Therefore, the credit for good work has to be shared by both the partners. People have to be reminded that the CM of Bihar was harping on the achievements of the Government and the main achievements in the state have been because of the ministers from the BJP. Matured BJP leaders like Chandra Mohan Rai (Health), Nand Kishor Yadav (Road), etc. displayed their vision and energy in handling the departments in the first ministry of the NDA government.
The first coalition Government in Bihar was formed in 1967 under the leadership of the late Maha Maya Babu. In 1971, Karpuri Thakur, a well known and popular leader of Socialist Party, became Chief Minister. They became popular among masses for their vision and people-friendly performances. In 1977, when newly formed Janata Party won 54 seats of Lok Sabha and after the election of Bihar assembly Janata Party formed the Government, the late Karpuri Thakur became Chief Minister and the late Kailashpati Mishra of Jana Sangh became Deputy Chief Minister. The Karpuri Thakur Government’s achievements were shared by the Jana Sangh also.
Now the alliance between BJP and JD (U) survived for 17 years. It is not a joke. The Government has done many developmental works in the state. Now when they have parted ways, both will try to count the failures of each other. In the cabinet of Nitish Kumar, the ministers from BJP side were old and seasoned workers of the party. They have been struggling for resolving the problems of the state for over three decades. Therefore, their performance in the cabinet was noteworthy. Their advices and suggestions were accepted in the cabinet. Each and every minister planned well for their departments. They executed the plans very efficiently. Now there are plans, which have not been executed by the JD(U) minister. That is why their performance was not up to the mark.
Now the big question is as who will be the gainer and loser now? The perfect calculation of gainer and loser will be decided by the election results, but it is an undisputed fact that the main sufferers after this split will be the people of Bihar. They were very happy to choose the leaders of both the parties. They expected to see both the parties working unitedly. They were satisfied with the developmental works of Government. However, all was not well in the Government in Bihar, some developmental works were shaping up. The voters had given their mandate for a coalition Government. Now by parting ways the Chief Minister has violated their trust. He is culprit of breaking the alliance. People are in dilemma, because they wanted development in the state. The well drafted plans started by the BJP ministers have produced applause for the entire coalition. They were also planning to execute more such plans in near future. But now what happens to all those plans is known to none.
I had the opportunity to speak to some of the BJP ministers. Some of them are now happy because for a while they were feeling uncomfortable in the ministry. But at the same time they are feeling sad for non-execution of their popular plans. One can only hope that the matured voters of Bihar realise the situation and whenever required they give a full-fledged chance to BJP for a better performance.
Senior BJP leader and former Minister of Public Health in Nitish Kumar Government Shri Chandra Mohan Rai is confident that the BJP will now expand its base throughout the state and would perform better first in general elections and then in assembly polls. Organiser Correspondent Pramod Kumar spoke to him. Excerpts:
Who is the main loser or gainer in this split?
Public is the main loser. I feel political instability will be the biggest loss, as it hampers the entire development process. The government started compromising on many vital fronts right from the day it planned to prove majority in the House. For it, it had to take the help of some independents. Now after proving majority, the fight for ministries has begun. Meanwhile, the developmental work which was going on smoothly has also started suffering. The opposition of the government would increase. In all these situations the ultimate sufferers will be the people of the state.
What could be the loss for BJP?
There will not be much loss to BJP. The prime reason of it is that there is a strong wave across the country in favour of Narendra Modi. People of Bihar also understand Nitish’s opposition to Narendra Modi. Therefore, during the Lok Sabha elections people will express their feelings accordingly. The voters who earlier hesitated to vote for us due to some constraints will also vote for us because of Narendra Modi. However, the prime influence of the split will be seen in Assembly polls. But we hope a better performance then too.
There were many programmes and schemes, initiated by BJP ministers, which are feared to be discarded by new ministers. What do you feel?
Many initiatives were taken by us, but as is the tradition when a programme or scheme is approved by the Cabinet, it becomes the programme of the entire government. Therefore, the BJP Ministers worked in tandem with the Cabinet. So, I feel no welfare programme should be stopped. Even if this government takes any such step, that will be answered suitably by the people of Bihar.
Why there was clash between BJP and JD(U) workers during the Bandh on June 18?
It was deliberate move on the part of the JD (U) workers as they wanted to prove the bandh violent. Why the JD(U) workers gathered outside BJP office where the party workers were shouting slogans against the government?
In the present circumstances how the BJP base in the state can be strengthened?
The party will devise programmes to strengthen it. We all will work together. We have to represent the voice of all sections of the society. Now, there is wide scope for us to spread.
The way the BJP staged walkout in the House during vote of confidence, it appears there is still possibility of BJP-JDU coming together. What do you think?
We basically wanted to expose the double character of Nitish Kumar. We knew Nitish has joined hands with the Congress and we could not defeat him during the vote of confidence. That is why it was the proper way.