It's hardly eight months when Nitish Kumar switched sides and became an NDA ally to run his Government in Bihar. But three recent incidents in the State have not only made him unhappy with his alliance partner but also sown the seeds of discontent.
Call it a coincidence or a design, no sooner the byelection results in Bihar were declared, at least two junior Union Ministers and a party's state unit chief reportedly made an unsuccessful bid to fan communal tension in certain sensitive pockets here.
Those who are well adept in reading Nitish's mind argue that the Chief Minister was livid over an attempt by the BJP leaders to vitiate the communal harmony. Little wonder, the police lodged an FIR against Union Minister Ashwini Choubey's son Arijit Shashwat for trying to fan communal tension in Bhagalpur.
Shashwat reportedly led an unauthorised procession of the BJP and Bajrang Dal activists on the occasion of Hindu New Year on March 17. The unauthorised motorcycle procession, according to the police, crossed through sensitive zones where participants raised provocative slogans resulting in stone-pelting incidents. "Had the processionists sought our permission, we would have deployed cops and decided the route. This could have averted the clash," said DIG, Vikas Vaibhav explaining how and why Choubey's son had been booked.
Bhagalpur, a communally-sensitive district, had witnessed one of the worst riots in October 1989 when around 1000 people lost their lives.
Apart from Bhagalpur, the BJP has reportedly made attempts to vitiate amity in Darbhanga too where a 70-year-old man has beheaded allegedly for naming a chowk after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Though the DGP, KS Dwivedi, categorically denied the reason for killing and reiterated that it was a case of land dispute, the BJP leaders propagated their divisive agenda. In one such video which went viral, Union Minister Giriraj Singh is seen provoking processionists to raise slogans against the DSP.
This is the same Giriraj Singh, who despite Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi's denial (that Darbhanga killing was not a fallout over naming a chowk), has been charged by the Opposition for fanning trouble in Darbhanga. The Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai has also lent muscle to the Union Minister's reiteration that it indeed was a communal killing.
Thirdly, Nitish is also reportedly miffed with the duo (the BJP leaders) who last week allegedly tried to disturb communal harmony in Araria where an allegedly fake video (in which some youths are seen raising slogans in favour of Pak) went viral. The move came close on the heels of Giriraj and Rai warning voters that Araria could become an ISI hub if the RJD candidate won from there.
Pained over consistent attempts to disturb communal harmony, Nitish has issued a loud and clear message to his alliance partner: "I am as much against the divisive politics as I am against corruption."