It is between RJD’s president Lalu Prasad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar as to who will prove Congress’ best instrument to stop surge of BJP’s Prime Ministerial face; Narendra Modi in Bihar. The very question has dogged central Congress bosses who are secretly quoting Lalu and Nitish.
After Lalu Prasad was released on bail from Birsa Munda Central jail in Fodder Scam Case last week a fresh rumbling was kicked off in national politics as both making independent and dubious claim to stop NaMo wave in Bihar. The Patna rally of Modi in October and its massive attendance despite terror strike by Indian Mujahideen has rattled forces opposed to Modi.
Modi to an extent has made considerable in carefully crafted poll and caste calculation of RJD and JD (U) as there in an undercurrent and polarisation of voters in the favour of Modi. Nitish is already jangled by voices within his party questioning his autocratic style of functioning.
Modi giving call of ‘Hey Yadav hey Madhav’ during October 26 has made Lalu nervous about his trusted Yadav constituent may shift allegiance to Modi and the BJP.
Though, Lalu Prasad himself lost membership of parliament after his conviction in one of the Fodder Scam Cases and he is technically debarred from contesting any election for 11 years but he displayed mien of challenging Modi in Bihar soon he came out of jail.
Soon after his release Lalu showed a tongue permanently tipped in vitriol against Nitish and Modi. He called Modi a Yam (God of Death) and Nitish a Malecha (a defile). But he was soft on Congress, sending strong signal to the Congress’ camp that he would love a fresh alignment with the party for 2014 Parliamentary elections.
It is despite Congress’ known leaning towards his bête Nitish Kumar of JD (U) as more effective in throwing challenges before Modi; Lalu Prasad called for the unity of likeminded secular forces.
Nitish apparently has lost guts to throw a challenge before Modi by summoning masses even one fourth size of what Modi did without any effort during Patna rally. Lalu on the other hand is struggling to make a comeback in the politics. He also announced to hold a historic rally in Patna in coming days to convince people that he still rules the roost.
“Modi has set cat among pigeons, and, they (Lalu and Nitish) are flapping their wings desperately,” said BJP’s Darbhanga MP Kirti Jha Azad. Modi with his vision for a vibrant India and charmed the youth. The major chunk of upper caste and backward class are considering Modi as an option. And obviously, Nitish is now facing anti-incumbency wave that will help Modi and BJP to resurrect to power.
Nitish having Prime Ministerial ambition that he refrains from admitting publicly, is assessing prospects silently unlike Lalu Prasad who has sent an open message to Congress: Nitish can’t be antidote to Modi in Bihar. “I will stop Modi in Bihar. Nitish fitish Bihar me koi factor nahi hai.”
But he is aware of Congress’ known leaning towards Nitish, so he says: “Jo jiske saath jana chahe jaye main badhak nahi banunga. Lekin secular forces ko ek saath ana hoga. Maine Bihar me pahle bhi communal forces to roka tha aur is bar bhi rokenge.” Lalu Prasad was so vivid in praising Congress that at once he sounded like spokesperson of Congress, the party which is apparently close to a suffocating end in the run of 2014 Parliamentary elections.
At once he claimed: “Hastinapur (Delhi) will ours,” and he is aware that Modi has mounted challenges at his home turf in Bihar. When asked as to what stop the Congress and the UPA from declaring Rahul as Prime Ministerial candidate he said: “The Congress is a matured party it knows about the timing. It is wrong to declare name of PM or CM candidate before elections. BJP was in hurry.”
Lalu freshly joining political discourse, admitted a senior JD (U) leader, will certainly make fight interesting. “But Modi is factor and who will be able to stop him will be decided in coming days. Obviously Congress has no support base in Bihar. We will lend support to Congress to stop communal force in Bihar. And this will be on our terms and conditions. But it will be a premature announcement whether we will go alone or will have some kind of understanding. Lalu has lost charisma he stands discredited now. If Congress leaders consider Lalu an option they can do it at their own cost,” said the leader.