Updated: May 20, 2016 1:35:44 pm
Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) national president Nitish Kumar would not be knowing whether to rejoice or feel sad after the Assembly election results of four states. A weakened Congress may suit his personal ambition of leading a possible anti-BJP front but stronger regional parties and possible allies like Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalitha may dampen his spirit. These regional satraps may put their noses in front to stake leadership claim of anti-BJP front, for which Nitish Kumar has started working very early and unilaterally.
With West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calling Naveen Patnaik, Jayalalitha, Nitish and Lalu “friends” after her grand victory, the Bihar CM may well have reasons for discomfort. For he privately knows that Mamata Banerjee has single-handedly pulversied the combined Congress-Left. Her second coming may fuel her national ambition.
While Nitish Kumar needed either BJP or RJD to gain power in Bihar, his friend Mamata has done so on her own. Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalitha has also won back-to-back elections, something unusual in Tamil Nadu politics after MGR’s hat-trick. There are also strong players like Naveen Patnaik, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati, who have done solo shows and all of the three can nurse national ambition. While UP CM Akhilesh Yadav saying only a socialist can become next PM, Nitish may have a tough fight ahead, on count of emerging first among equals.
Subscriber Only Stories
Nitish may still not rest and can go ahead with his trip to Odisha and Rajasthan with prohibition theme, which has become JD (U)’s national anthem since Bihar enforced liquor ban this April. With Congress getting further weakened, Nitish would further raise pitch for Sangh-mukt Bharat. But his only concern is Congress not being able to hold on to its turf and rather losing ground after every election.
Nitish may well have to get more regional parties in toe at his meetings. RJD has already reprimanded him for the solo show and its leaders like Araria MP Mohammed Taslimuddin saying Nitish is not the only PM material.
Political experts say Nitish may well have hurried through with his political move and could have delayed a challenge from Varanasi. Nitish is banking too much on prohibition to get more and more socialist partners. He is also linking it with Gandhian ideology for national appeal. The Assembly poll results may well have given a chance to Nitish to buy his time and put his national ambition on hold and get some ratification from leaders like Mamata and Naveen on an anti-BJP front.
📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.