Bihar: Rift in BJP-JD(U) alliance widens ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections
The friction between the JD(U) and BJP months ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha election is likely to have its political ramifications. It will impact the seat-sharing talks
The political scene within the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar is getting messier after the multiple rapes of 34 minors in Muzaffarpur. The episode has not only created a sort of upper caste-backward caste divide within the NDA in the state but has also driven a wedge between the Janata Dal (United) and Bharatiya Janata Party.
Just before the Central Bureau of Investigation raided her official bungalow in Patna and houses elsewhere in the state on August 17, the ousted social welfare minister Manju Verma––who has been playing her Kushwaha caste card since the beginning––while speaking in Begusarai lashed out at deputy chief minister and the BJP leader, Sushil Kumar Modi, for seeking her resignation, but is silent when the name of urban development minister Suresh Sharma figured in the case.
She, however, defended chief minister Nitish Kumar as he had taken the high moral ground by seeking her resignation.
Suresh, who has landed in controversies on a couple of occasions in the recent past, is from Muzaffarpur and is a Bhumihar, the caste to which Brajesh Thakur, the main accused in the cases, belongs. It is Brajesh, who used to run the shelter home for girls in Muzaffarpur.
The friction between the JDU) and BJP months ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha election is likely to have its political ramifications. It is likely to have its impact on the seat-sharing talks between the two main NDA constituents.
When the name of Manju’s husband figured in the case the Janata Dal (United) was on the backfoot. The CBI had on August 17 carried out raids at her house. Her resignation came days after the chief minister strongly defended her.
There was a sense of satisfaction among the BJP leaders as the alleged involvement of the husband of a minister belonging to the JD(U) had greatly reduced the bargaining position of the latter.
Now the JD(U) wants to square up with the saffron party and the demand for the resignation of Suresh Sharma is linked to the same development.
In the meantime reports are doing the rounds that Brajesh Thakur is related to the CEO of a premier national television channel. As Brajesh is well connected with the leaders of ruling NDA, many in the Opposition doubt that anything would really happen to him
In the meantime reports are doing the rounds that Brajesh Thakur is related to the CEO of a premier national television channel. As Brajesh is well connected with the leaders of ruling NDA, many in the Opposition doubt that anything would really happen to him.
Now the main Opposition party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, has turned its heat on Nitish Kumar and is demanding his resignation.
However, it is the caste tension over the issue which is causing worry to both the JD(U) and the BJP. Even a slight change in the caste equation is likely to mar the poll prospect of the NDA.
Political observers are of the view that there is no dearth of backward caste JD(U) leaders who are upset over the way the BJP is trying to use the Muzaffarpur rape issue to nail their party when the truth is that several BJP leaders too have a very good relationship with Brajesh Thakur.
However, much depends on the way the RJD and Union minister of state for HRD Upendra Kushwaha’s party exploit this situation.
- Nitish Kumar
- Rashtriya Janata Dal
- Upendra Kushwaha
- 2019 elections
- RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav
- Brajesh Thakur
- Muzaffarpur shelter home case
- Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma
- Muzaffarpur rape cases