Heat Wave: With Modi wave hitting them hard, will these states hold?
While Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar chose to resign on Saturday and seek a fresh mandate amid deepening fissures within the ruling JD(U) that threatened to destabilise his government, especially in the wake of the NDA’s swashbuckling performance in the state in the Lok Sabha elections, the same could have a pinball effect on many non-NDA CMs who are under pressure from within after their party’s or coalition’s rout in their respective states. After the Congress’s worst-ever defeat in parliamentary elections, there are strong murmurs in the party against vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s and his team’s style of functioning. As it is, the Nehru-Gandhi family remains beyond any reproach. Therefore, even as the Congress Working Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday, family loyalists are said to be looking for a scapegoat — rather many of them. Rahul might have run a centralised poll campaign but the accountability could be decentralised. That is what has put pressure on many party CMs. Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, one of the senior leaders who has been a witness and participant to many such exercises in the past, has already offered to quit. There are many others who are likely to face the heat. “After such a mandate, governments (in non-NDA-ruled states) may lose. We will not do anything to destabilise them but they may face trouble internally,” said a BJP strategist.
CM Prithviraj Chavan is said to be under tremendous pressure after the Congress-NCP coalition’s rout, together ending up with just six out of 48 seats in the state, which is slated to go for Assembly polls towards the end of the year. Chavan has always faced criticism from within the Congress for being more of an administrator than a politician even as he is known to have frequent run-ins with NCP leaders. NCP general secretary D P Tripathi on Saturday refused to go into the reasons for the debacle saying, “We have not yet taken any official position, but we have emerged as a bigger party than the Congress. We won four seats while they won just two.” NCP sources, however, attributed the coalition’s loss to the “CM’s performance”. “It’s the Congress leadership who have to think whether they want a leadership change in the state,” said an NCP source. Chavan rejected any suggestion of a change of guard in the state. “I have already issued a statement over the results,” he told The Sunday Express. Given that elections are just six months away and there are not many contenders after former Union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s comprehensive loss in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress high continued…