Nitish’s moves a setback for Opposition unity

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Jul 2017 09:07:56



NITISH Kumar’s resignation as Bihar Chief Minister on Wednesday has come as a big setback for the Opposition which was seeking to join hands against the Narendra Modi Government on a range of issues ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Nitish Kumar had worked to stitch up a Grand Alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress in Bihar in 2015 that delivered a crushing blow to the BJP in the Assembly polls.

Following the outcome in Bihar, a similar alliance where Opposition parties join hands in a multi-cornered contest, was seen as a model that could be replicated in other states to defeat the BJP.









In Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP scored a resounding victory in the Assembly polls earlier this year, there was talk in political circles that the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress should have joined hands to form a Bihar-like alliance.

Earlier this month, 18 Opposition parties, including the JD-U, had met to pick Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their vice-presidential candidate and had discussed the alleged victimisation of political opponents by the BJP-led Central Government and suicides by farmers.

The 18 parties, that also included the Samajwadi Party and BSP, had also agreed on greater coordination inside and outside Parliament. They had agreed to meet once a month to coordinate their strategy against the Modi Government.
Nitish Kumar was also seen as a possible face to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He had severed ties with the BJP and resigned after it announced Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Kumar had earlier also displayed his streak to take decisions independent of views of his Bihar allies. He had broken ranks with them to support the demonetisation move of the Modi Government and had also supported NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, a former Bihar Governor, in the presidential election.

Nitish Kumar’s coming out of the Grand Alliance has significant consequences for the Congress. The party suffered a string of electoral reverses after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and being part of winning alliance in Bihar had brought it cheer.

Since the Bihar outcome, Punjab is the only major
State won by the Congress.



Cong feels ‘deeply disappointed’
THE Congress party on Wednesday voiced “deep disappointment” at the resignation of Nitish Kumar as Bihar Chief Minister and said it will try to sort out differences of opinion between partners of the Grand Alliance to see that the five-year Assembly victory mandate is respected.
“We are deeply disappointed by the news of resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. We in the Indian National Congress, particularly, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi have great respect for Nitish Kumar as a political leader,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

“Mahagathbandhan (alliance) was given a five-year mandate by people of Bihar based on its policies, principles and the cumulative leadership that we presented,” he added.

“People of Bihar gave respect and regard to Mahagathbandhan based on our policies, principles and leadership,” he said.
“We shall continue to strive that the mandate given by people of Bihar for a period of five years is fully respected. Any differences of opinion that may have cropped up we will try and sort them out by speaking to each other in an amicable and cordial fashion.”

No question of patch-up: JD-U
JD-U leader K.C. Tyagi on Wednesday said the decision of forming the Grand Alliance Government in Bihar was “a mistake” and ruled out any possibility of patch-up with the RJD.

Speaking to reporters after
RJD chief Lalu Prasad addressed the media in Patna, Tyagi said: “After such allegations there is no point of going along with them. They (RJD) are now untouchable for us.”
The JD-U spokesperson said that Nitish Kumar had never used harsh language against Lalu Prasad but the latter “used disrespectful words” for the JD-U President. “It is shameful. We regret our decision to run the Government with such person (Lalu Prasad) for 20 months.
“We blame ourselves for committing a mistake of taking their MLA count from 22 to 80. If needed, we will hold a fast to repent our actions,” the JD-U
leader added.