Why is Shahabuddin bent on attacking Nitish Kumar?

Shahabuddin had created a flutter in political circles by calling Nitish Kumar "CM of circumstances" and almost lampooning him by saying that Nitish cannot get more than 20 seats on his own.

By: Santosh Singh | Updated: September 11, 2016 9:34 pm
nitish kumar, shahabuddin, shahabuddin release, shahabuddin bail, bihar, bihar government, bihar politics, rjd, bihar chief minister Is it part of Shahabuddin’s political strategy to be harsh on Nitish Kumar, to indicate the distance between them? (Source: File/PTI)

“Mandate to Madhu Koda ko bhi public ka mandate tha (Even Madhu Koda had public mandate)”.

This is the second back-to-back salvo of former Siwan RJD MP Mohammed Shahabuddin at Bihar’s Chief Minister since coming out on bail on Saturday. Shahabuddin had created a flutter in political circles by calling Nitish “CM of circumstances” and almost lampooning him by saying that Nitish cannot get more than 20 seats on his own.

But why did Mohammed Shahabuddin choose to attack Nitish Kumar so quickly, especially when the government’s legal laxity in not being able to begin the trial of the Rajiv Roshan case, a strong reason for him getting bail, might well have helped his cause? Is it part of Shahabuddin’s political strategy to be harsh on Nitish, to indicate the distance between them?

To an extent this would suit Nitish Kumar as well as he cannot afford to treat Shahabuddin as a key leader of Grand Alliance partner, the RJD.

Shahabuddin took the Madhu Koda potshot after Nitish had refused to react to Shahabuddin calling him “CM of circumstances”. Nitish had dismissed the muscleman’s remarks saying the public had given him a mandate and he did not need to react to such little things.

Interestingly, there has been no reaction from Lalu Prasad or any of his spokespersons defending or dismissing Shahabuddin’s remarks. A large part of the RJD would be revelling in Shahabuddin’s attack on Nitish. So far, only former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had been doing so this.

RJD boss Lalu Prasad generally does not brief senior leaders. He would not have given any brief to Shahabuddin either. In any case, Shahabuddin called Lalu his leader and in a sense tried to show that the RJD was a bigger force than the JDU. Deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, however, sought to douse the fire by calling Nitish Kumar the “undisputed leader of Grand Alliance”.

Shahabuddin looks to focus on his second innings in politics even though he is yet to complete his sentence. He knows his Siwan turf was wrested by Om Prakash Yadav, who defeated Shahabuddin’s wife Hina Shahab in the 2009 and 2014 elections. His attack on Nitish Kumar reflects his angst and animosity against Nitish Kumar for being harsh on him legally since 2005. Shahabuddin has been convicted in eight cases so far.

The JD (U), however, makes light of Shahabuddin’s attack on Nitish. JD (U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said: “The person who had been in jail for 11 years has no right to give sermons on politics. Nitish Kumar is not an incidental CM but by CM by a historic mandate”.