Will Bihar see new equations emerging in New Year?

Will Bihar see new equations emerging in New Year?

And those who have watched Bihar politics take numerous turns on the eve of every Assembly election too argue that “more political churning is likely in the days to come.”

Will anyone in the JD(U) dare to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies or speak out against Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi without the consent or backing of the top leadership of the ruling party in the State?

Those who know Chief Minister Nitish Kumar say, well, no.

And those who have watched the numerous turns in Bihar politics on the eve of every Assembly election argue that “more political churning is likely in the days to come".

Or else, how could one explain that JD(U) National Vice-President Prashant Kishor charged Sushil Modi with “becoming a deputy CM because of circumstances", despite the fact that the BJP lost the 2015 Assembly elections.” Or, how could PK, as Prashant Kishor is known, launch a tirade against the Centre castigating the Modi regime on the NRC and the CAA?

Notably, Sushil Modi too took a dig at PK and said, “those who are busy collating data and coining slogans are making political statements that are against the coalition dharma".

Minutes after PK took a dig at Sushil Modi (who, incidentally, enjoys a great rapport with Nitish), the JD(U) strongman said: “Sab theek hai. (Nothing wrong, all’s well).”

Nitish apparently did not admonish his party’s second-in-command (PK) for taking a dig at his deputy (Sushil Modi). Nor did he apparently try to assuage the ruffled feathers of BJP leaders baying for PK’s blood.

“Reading Nitish’s mind is quite difficult," said veteran political commentator Ajay Kumar. "But at present, it seems he is either finding an escape route (such as NRC/CAA or any other contentious issue) to dump the BJP or he is driving a hard bargain with the BJP through tough posturing, particularly after the BJP had to bite the dust in neighbouring Jharkhand.”

Other social scientists like NK Choudhary, a retired Patna University professor, concur. “If PK is attacking Sushil Modi so blatantly, it must be under a well-crafted strategy and could have the backing of the JD(U) leadership," Choudhary said. "Perhaps Nitish wants a better deal ahead of the Assembly polls, slated for October-November this year.”

The Congress, which is keeping close tabs on the war of words between the BJP and the JD(U), has extended an olive branch to Nitish. Congress Legislature Party leader in the Bihar Assembly Sadanand Singh said,“Nitish should take a call on whether he wants to continue his ties with the divisive BJP, or he would like to return to Mahagatbandhan to salvage his secular image. The sooner he decides, the better.”

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