Is the rise in kidnap cases in Bihar proving to be a major stumbling block in the coming together of the JD(U) and RJD? Sources in the ruling party say the answer is yes.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is deeply worried over the increase in kidnap cases ever since the two regional chieftains joined hands to take on a combative BJP.
Nitish, who earned plaudits for ushering in good governance in his previous term from 2005 to 2010, has, of late, been assailed for increase in crime graph. Senior IPS officers, in private, concede that the professional gangs involved in abduction cases earlier, have again resurfaced particularly after the RJD offered a prop to save the minority government of Nitish.
To buttress his point, a top cop cited three different cases. On May 21, 2015, a leading contractor of Bharat Petroleum was abducted from Naugachia and murdered at Bihpur (near Bhagalpur) the same night. On April 2015, a leading physician from Gaya and his wife were kidnapped near Barachatti and taken to UP. The couple was released after Nitish talked to his UP counterpart Akhilesh Yadav. On January 2015, an influential contractor from Rohtas, whose kin is a former Bihar BJP president, was kidnapped and taken to UP. He was released after a hefty ransom was paid to the abductors’ gang.
Nitish, who is in advanced stage of hiring the campaign strategist Prashant Kishore (the man who masterminded Narendra Modi’s poll campaign in 2014), is reported to be perturbed that an increase in kidnapping cases would tarnish his image of an able administrator who established the rule of law in an otherwise lawless state.
His close aides, too, have pointed towards the shortcomings with the “baggage” that is RJD. Sources in the ruling camp argue that one school of thought is trying to prevail upon Nitish to go it alone with Congress and Left, rather than earning a bad name due to RJD.
“Nitish ji has recently roped in his trusted Rajya Sabha member to woo Prashant Kishore, the best man in political communication, to strategise JD(U)’s third consecutive win in Bihar.
Against this backdrop, when there is a spate in kidnapping cases, then there is a strong possibility that the JD(U) may have to sever its ties with the RJD so as to shore up Nitish’s image of an able administrator who established sushashan (good governance) in Bihar,” a ruling party member confided on Monday.
DH News Service