Nitish Kumar and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have once again formed a Government in Bihar. Nitish Kumar has—yet again—trod the path to power with the BJP. And not surprisingly, questions galore are being raised on Nitish Kumar becoming the state’s chief minister yet again. While some of these might seem reasonable, to accuse him of betraying the people of Bihar is actually an insult to the State’s mandate.
In the assembly elections held in 2021, Bihar’s voters had handed a majority to the National Democratic Alliance. The BJP had won 74 seats while the Janata Dal (United) bagged 43 seats. However, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had emerged as the single largest party by getting one seat more than the BJP. But there was no mistaking the fact that public opinion was completely in favour of the BJP and JD(U). Hence, it cannot be said that Nitish Kumar has cocked a snook at public opinion by joining hands with the BJP once again.
The insult, if any, was caused when Nitish carried his disagreement over a particular issue and left the NDA to form a government with the party that had been rejected by the people. By voting in favour of the BJP and JD(U), the state’s public had delivered a clear mandate that it were these two parties that had to form and run a government. Not only that, the BJP had also won more seats, it was also morally correct that Nitish Kumar should have operated his Government in alliance with the BJP.
The association of the BJP and Nitish
The association of the BJP and Nitish Kumar is not today’s phenomenon. They first came together in 1998 and have now been together for 26 years. The thing to be noted is that Nitish has been in the company of opposition parties only for three years and has spent the remaining 23 years in alliance with the BJP, with who he has weathered many ups and downs. Importantly, even when there was no BJP Government at the Centre, the JD(U) was in alliance with the BJP.
The leadership of BJP and Janata Dal United arose from the movement against the Congress-imposed Emergency of 1975. Both have shaped their politics in opposition the dictatorial Emergency mindset of the Congress and their own experience of the atrocities committed on them and their followers during that period.
It is true that Lalu Prasad Yadav too went to jail in protest against the Emergency and it was during that period his daughter was born. His daughter’s name is Misa, named after the draconian MISA Act. However, it is also undeniably true that it is Lalu Prasad Yadav who is today an ally of the very Congress that imposed the Emergency. The RJD can never be a natural ally of the JD(U) because the former has made political compromises with its fundamental adversary. Therefore, it can be clearly stated and realised why two parties that emerged from the same movement and raised slogans of the same objective cannot be natural allies today.
There is a more important reason why Nitish Kumar and RJD are not natural allies. Actually, Nitish’s political career remains alive only because of RJD’s sheer misgovernance. The people of Bihar do not even want to recall the reign of Lalu Prasad Yadav in the State. At a time when the entire country was progressing in some way or the other as far as development was concerned, Bihar was passing through its most backward phase, where no such thing as law and order existed in the State.
Basic infrastructure like electricity, roads and water were absent in Bihar, which was unmatched in incidence of crime. The consequence of the then prevailing anarchy was that people had to leave their homes again and again. It was only when Nitish Kumar formed the Government with the BJP and somewhat met the expectations of the people while being Chief Minister that the State’s people too could experience relief from the period of misgovernance that Lalu Prasad Yadav had saddled them with. Nitish began working on basic facilities like electricity, water, roads, health and started bringing investment into Bihar. There was a time when Maoism was major problem in Bihar. The public had endured the terror of Maoist attacks for years and after the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014, the NDA Governments, both in Bihar and at the Centre together combated this problem in a much better way. Both together did a lot of work towards solving this problem.
The problem of Maoism emerges when corruption and nepotism are at their peak. In this regard, both the Congress and Lalu Prasad Yadav are cut from the same cloth. Or, one can say that this is a brotherhood of thieves. When the general public has no right over the resources and has no place in the system, it will try to acquire the same forcibly, by snatching it. If the system does not accept them, they will create their own system.
During the reign of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Congress, common folk did not believe that even an ordinary person could find a place in politics or the system. But both Nitish Kumar and the BJP made the people at large hope, through their own examples that even a individual from an ordinary family could obtain a significant space in the politics of the State and the country. He too could get a Government job and could become a part of the system.
As the State and the country began coming out of nepotism and corruption, the problem of Maoism too began automatically easing off. The problem, due to which no one could live in Bihar with any degree of ease, is now inching towards its end with the end of nepotism. However, it is also true that the people at the helm of political families are also supporters of the Maoist movement, so that their own cozy system is not touched while the common citizens continue to be ruined by getting enmeshed in the alternative world of crime. That is why, while Nitish Kumar and the NDA Government at the Centre are combating this problem very resolutely and astutely, Lalu Yadav avoided taking even nominal harsh measures against the Maoists.
A closer look at this issue too reveals that the BJP and JD(U) are natural allies and are close to each other.
That is also the reason whenever Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and the BJP went together in the elections to seek blessings from the people, the voters showered them with ample votes, be it Lok Sabha or Assembly elections. This was also seen during the last assembly elections, when it was this alliance the people gave a mandate to form and run the government. While on one the hand dynastic parties have been yearning for votes, on the other hand, the people have incessantly stood the by the BJP and Janata Dal (United) with votes.
The arrogance of the Congress
The arrogance of the Congress is the biggest factor in the recent step taken by Nitish Kumar. The reality is that the Congress has not yet been able to shed its Emergency mindset. In its make-believe world, the era in which its sycophants proclaimed “Indira is India” is still in existence! Even now, Rahul Gandhi is the most important individual for it. For this party, no one is higher than the Gandhi family. While one party is staking the State at for its next-generation dynast, on the other hand, the Congress is desperate to hand over the reins of the country to Rahul Gandhi of the Nehru dynasty.
Evidently, the question of whether Rahul Gandhi has the ability to run the country is something his party neither wishes to look at nor understand. It is no crime to desire power and strive for it, but the obstinacy of belief that one individual or family alone must lead is debilitating for democracy. On top of that, the leadership, of both Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Congress is also anti-women. Both parties are desperate to coronate their respective sons. The people too are watching this. While on one hand, women are acquiring proper and increasing representation in the BJP, on the other hand in the Congress, the careers of youth and women are being suppressed for the sole reason that their crown princes can be put on the throne of the State and the country.
The sordid drama doesn’t culminate there. The public is not only watching the unbecoming conduct of these two so-called youth leaders, but has also begun berating them. It is also ridiculous that many of the younger Congress leaders are not sure whether Rahul Gandhi, about whom Congress is so passionate, will ever be able to understand the aspirations of the people. Wherever Rahul Gandhi’s Nyaya Yatra ventures into, either the Congress or the INDI alliance keeps falling apart. For Rahul Gandhi, though only his “I” is important, nothing else! He does not even seem to know what is going on in the alliance. Mamata Banerjee has distanced herself from it, and now the Aam Aadmi Party does not want to stand with it either. In view of all this, the step Nitish has taken is neither unnatural nor an attempt to deceive the people.
Rahul is so sunk in delusions of his superiority, and to such an extent that he does not deign to look at his companions. While in Assam, wallowing in the pride of his Nehru lineage, he went so far as to call Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s family corrupt, whereas the entire country knows during whose regime such monumental records of corruption were created which no one can possibly surpass.
The Nehru dynasty cannot tolerate the fact that anyone other than them can come to power. Therefore, they abuse every individual who is more capable than them, who has leadership potential and do not allow him or her to lead. Instead, they keep a realm of sycophants around them, who keep instigating them against deserving people, while appeasing their false ego.
It has become amply clear from Nitish Kumar’s utterances how he was being humiliated. No self-respecting person can stay where he is insulted and no wonder Nitish strode out and returned.
This is Nitish Kumar’s gharwapsi (homecoming) and it should be welcomed. When one of our own takes a different path due to whatever reason, the doors should always remain open for his return.