Speculations rife over Nitish government survival

Speculations rife over Nitish government survival

Speculations rife over Nitish government survival

Speculations are rife that the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar may fall as party legislators would desert him following the Janata Dal-United's humiliating debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.

It is the first time that voices of dissent have surfaced over poor performance and have also questioned Nitish Kumar's leadership.

The JD-U won only two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats of Bihar. In 2009, it won 20 seats when it was in alliance with the BJP.

This time, the BJP won 22 seats and its ally the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) won six and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) won three seats. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) won four, while its ally Congress two and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) bagged one seat.

Political watchers here said that the JD-U's poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls is bound to impact the state government.

"It is a big loss for Nitish Kumar and would certainly hit his government," said Satyanarain Madan, a political watcher.

JD-U legislator Gayanu Singh said if the party failed to learn a lesson from its defeat, it would be routed in next assembly polls due in 2015.

"Party has given more importance to new entrants in distribution of tickets to contest polls and ignored the social support base by giving five seats each to Yadav-Kushwaha and Muslim candidates. That resulted in this," he said.

Gayanu Singh also targeted Nitish Kumar by saying that the chief minister lacked self-confidence.

Another JD-U legislator, who did not want to be named, said cabinet expansion is awaited for over 10 months.

"It also created unhappiness among party legislators and more importance was given to officials over legislators...," he said.

Another setback for Nitish Kumar was that then JD-U bagged only one of five assembly seats where by-polls were held along with the Lok Sabha polls. The RJD bagged three seats and the BJP took one. 

Upbeat over unexpected victory, the Bharatiya Janata Party has already demanded the resignation of Nitish Kumar for his party's rout in polls.

"As chief minister has lost the confidence of people, he should resign with immediate effect owning moral responsibility for the debacle of his party in the state," said senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

Just two days back, BJP's ally LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said that after result of the Lok Sabha elections, the Nitish Kumar government would fall as dozens of its legislators would desert him and there will be mid term-polls to the state assembly in November 2014.

Paswan is not alone. BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain also said that the Nitish Kumar led government is in danger because it would fall after the Lok Sabha polls. But he ruled out that the BJP would do anything or make any attempt to cause the fall of the state government.

Sushil Kumar Modi claimed that over 50 legislators from Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United are in touch with his party as they are unhappy with the chief minister.

Earlier, BJP leader C.P. Thakur said his party should form a government in Bihar if the Nitish Kumar government falls after the Lok Sabha elections.

"The BJP should not mind taking outside support of like-minded legislators to form a government if the JD-U government collapses after the Lok Sabha polls," he then said.