Cracks appear in BJP-JD(U) alliance in Bihar
Is the BJP-JDU honeymoon over in Bihar?
Speculations of rift within the JD(U)-BJP alliance gained currency after BJP leader and former Union minister C.P. Thakur publicly questioned Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's much hyped campaign against child marriage and dowry, and JD(U) hit back by saying that no one can question the decisions of Nitish Kumar.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s lack of presence at a programme in Ara which saw RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in attendance is also being cited as a testimony of the differences between BJP and JD(U) in Bihar. On Wednesday, Kumar attended a separate programme organised to mark the 1,000th birth anniversary of Swami Ramanujacharya while Bhagwat was in town to participate in a similar programme.
On the top of that, BJP leader Nawal Kishore Yadav advised Kumar not to avoid Bhagwat. It did not go well with the JD(U), according to a Patna watcher.
“JD(U) is an alliance partner of the BJP, part of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), then it should have no problems with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat,” Yadav was quoted by the media.
JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi, who is considered close to Nitish Kumar, however, downplayed the rift.
Talking to National Herald over the phone, he said, “Thakur’s observations regarding the campaign should not be taken as a criticism of Nitish Kumar.” As far as Kumar not attending Bhagwat’s programme is concerned, he said: “It was pre-decided. Media keeps speculating but we do not plan our programme according to media speculation.”
Observers feel that Nitish Kumar, despite being a part of NDA, does not want to be seen as subservient to the RSS.
“His scathing attack on Bhagwat during the Assembly elections when the latter called for a review of the reservation policy is not forgotten by the BJP-RSS. Though they decided to bury the hatchet for the sake of power but the origin of discomfort lies there,” said a Patna- based journalist.
Suspended JD(U) leader Ali Anwar sarcastically commented that Nitish would soon realise the real character of the BJP. “He has lost credibility among the masses. He will realise it when he will lose his crown,” he said.
Analysts feel that the fissure in the BJP-JDU alliance can be attributed to the change in the behaviour of BJP. “BJP is acting like a big brother though it has only 53 legislators,” said a JDU leader who did not wish to be named while talking to news agency IANS.
"JD(U) was the big brother when it formed the government with the BJP in 2005. Now the BJP is not ready to play second fiddle," he said.
According to JD(U) leaders, the party had hoped that, after it joined hands with the BJP and formed a government in July, the Central government would announce a special package for Bihar. That has not happened. It has also soured the relationship between two partners.
(With inputs from IANS)