Updated: October 7, 2016 5:07:43 pm
The symbolism of Arvind Kejriwal – one who stopped the Narendra Modi juggernaut in Delhi and stands for good governance with a tinge of activism – may stand in good stead for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the run up to Assembly elections in the state. Kejriwal has already buttressed Nitish Kumar’s ‘DNA war’ against Modi by drawing a parallel with Delhi BJP which had put Kejriwal in ‘upadravi gotra’. In that sense the Delhi CM has tried to help Nitish in further invoking Bihar asmita or sub-nationalism.
Nitish likes Kejriwal for his 67-3 score-line against BJP in Delhi, and also for reinforcing Bihar’s development model. The Delhi CM also engaged in a bit of mind-game with BJP by saying the Delhi government will emulate Bihar’s successful development model of Right to Public Services Act that has given caste, residence, income and 48 other government services to about 11 crore people in just four years by cutting rigmarole and most importantly removing brokers.
So far, so good. But Nitish’s presentation of Kejriwal model and plans to showcase him during Bihar Assembly campaign has too many detractors, within the Grand Alliance and of course, from BJP. RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress are not at all happy with Nitish’s Kejriwal symbolism. Kejriwal could have been easily invited to attend a political function but for Nitish’s company of RJD and Congress. Nitish’s ‘zero tolerance against corruption’ policy cannot be looked in isolation. It is like having your cake and eating it too. Nitish cannot talk of Lalu Prasad and Kejriwal in the same sentence. Kejriwal too, would not like that to happen. The inner contradictions of alliance and Bihar’s perpetual tug-of-war between governance and social combination somewhere neutralise Nitish’s desperate attempts to keep his development plank at the top.
Kejriwal’s Bihar colleague and former minister Parbeen Amanullah does not like her leader’s camaraderie with Nitish, and with Lalu and Congress. This is where the opponent BJP chips in and asks the most valid questions – Is Kejriwal supporting Nitish’s alliance with RJD and Congress?
BJP is not answering any question on Kejriwal’s posers on Centre coming in way of cooperative federalism. Nitish would have liked Kejriwal to become one of his star campaigners but his allies do not look comfortable. Nitish will have to make a choice and do the balancing act he has been doing for sometime. He perhaps wants the best of both worlds.
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