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OPINION | NITISH HAMMERS THE LAST NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF ‘INDI ALLIANCE’


Image Source : INDIA TV India TV Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma

All eyes are now on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his rejoining NDA seems to be a foregone conclusion. Nitish Kumar has proved that the promises, statements and vows of leaders in Bihar do not matter. What is now happening in Bihar politics has nothing to do with the welfare of the people of the state. It is just a power game. A bid to retain the throne, a political bargain. Nearly one and a half years ago, when Lalu Prasad Yadav extended support and made Nitish the chief minister of the hurriedly formed JDU-RJD coalition government, it was also part of a political deal. 

The deal at that time was clear: Nitish Kumar will move on to Delhi before the Lok Sabha polls, he would be made the convenor of INDI alliance, he will be projected as the face of PM candidate, and Lalu’s worthy son Tejashwi will be enthroned as the CM. Nitish then knew that this was not going to happen. In Hindi, there is an apt proverb: “Na Nau Man Tel Hoga, Na Radhika Nachegi”. He knew, nobody was going to make him the PM, nor will he have to vacate his CM seat. But nobody could stop the ailing, septuagenarian RJD supremo Lalu Yadav from making his son Tejashwi as CM with lightning speed. Nobody could stem Lalu’s eagerness. Pressures began to build up on Nitish. He was repeatedly asked to move to Delhi and vacate the CM seat. He was promised that he would be made the convenor of opposition bloc later. When Nitish refused, he was threatened that his MLAs would be weaned away with the help of his associate Lallan Singh. But Nitish Kumar is a master strategist in Bihar politics. He knew, Lok Sabha election was at hand, and if BJP wanted to make a clean sweep of all 40 LS seats in Bihar, it would need his help. BJP did not want to take risk. Nitish’s game plan suited BJP fine. The deal was struck. One point to note is that all the three big players in this game – Amit Shah, Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar – do not like each other at all, nor can they rely on one another.  All these three top leaders have spoken time and again that they would rather perish (‘mitti mein mil jayenge’) rather than join hands. But politics is a cruel world. It forces one to change according to the necessities of time. But let me tell you: the change that will take place in Bihar will reverberate across India this time. Rahul Gandhi’s dreams will face the biggest attack. INDI alliance will cease to have any meaning. 

Rahul Gandhi’s hopes were based on the assumption that all the constituent parties would jointly fight. His calculation was to garner at least 60 per cent of votes across India to score a big win over BJP. People used to ask whether the opposition parties will be able to stop Narendra Modi in his tracks even if all of them joined hands. The entire deck of cards is now changed. Mamata did not lend support when Rahul’s Yatra entered West Bengal. Nitish deceived him even before his Yatra was to enter Bihar. Kejriwal has already dashed his hopes in Punjab, and now the last nail in the coffin of INDI alliance will be hammered by Nitish Kumar on Monday. ‘Na Rahega Baans, Na Bajegi Bansuri’ (literal translation: You can’t blow the flute, if there is no bamboo).

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