Has BJP dumped PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Hanuman’?

Even if the BJP wanted to bail Chirag Paswan, it can do little as at this juncture, BJP can not afford to rub Nitish Kumar the wrong way. BJP needs Nitish more than Nitish needs BJP

Chirag Paswan (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
Chirag Paswan (Photo Courtesy: IANS)

Abdul Qadir

Has BJP dumped PM Narendra Modi’s self-proclaimed ‘Hanuman’? Going by the ongoing political drama in the mostly turbulent Bihar politics, the answer lies in the affirmative. Though PM Modi did not directly acknowledge Chirag as his ‘Hanuman’, he also did not say or do anything to dispute Chirag’s claim.

At his maiden assembly election rally in Bihar’s Rohtas area, the PM, in the presence of Nitish Kumar, was more than effusive in his proxy praise for Chirag (though the PM praised late Ram Bilas Paswan, observers of the Bihar political scene read it as approval for Chirag’s politics).

Much sand has accumulated in river Sone in the last eight months or so and having half done the assigned job of politically annihilating Nitish, Chirag now finds himself lonely and deserted.

Dumping the ‘Hanuman’ is not BJP’s choice. It is the party’s compulsion. Having been comprehensively humbled by Mamta Banerjee and unable to effectively clip the wings of UP CM Yogi Adityanath, BJP appears to be a pale shadow of its former confident avatar. Recent developments in Ayodhya have further caused embarrassment to the party, struggling to recover from the COVID impact.

May be Chirag outdid his brief. But then it was the responsibility of his handlers to keep him in reasonable check. A sense of entitlement and tall patronage, in retrospect, made Chirag lose his balance. To his misfortune, Chirag, the ‘anadi’ (novice) pitted himself against the ever unforgiving ‘khiladi’ in Nitish. The result is not surprising.

Even if BJP wanted to bail Chirag out, it can do little as at this juncture, BJP can not afford to rub Nitish the wrong way. BJP needs Nitish more than Nitish needs BJP. And assembly elections in Bihar, in any case, are a good four and a half years away. Before that BJP will have to pass the 2024 test.

With zero presence in the state assembly (LJP’s lone MLA earlier joined the Nitish bandwagon), JD(U) in the state has not much to gain as far as the arithmetic of Bihar politics is concerned. But then politics is more than simple arithmetic. Its psychology matters much and it is here that Nitish has gained at the cost of both BJP and Chirag. BJP is the loser in this political mind game as it failed to protect its pawn.

For how long the new LJP leader in Lok Sabha Pashupati Kumar Paras will be able to keep LJP as a separate political outfit is anybody’s guess. Paras did never has his own political address and always worked in the shadow of Ram Bilas Paswan. He neither has the political capital of Ram Bilas Paswan nor the obese purse held by his estranged nephew cum rival Chirag and as such floating alone is not the long term option for Paras.

Some day he (Paras) will have to chose between Nitish and Lalu to stay relevant in Bihar politics. Paras’s fellow MP Mahboob Ali Qaiser is already half in the RJD as Qaiser’s son is an RJD MLA. But that is a different story. As of now, it appears to be the end of the road for Chirag.

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