Even as “Grand Alliance” of RJD-JD (U)-Congress and BJP-led NDA are engaged in fresh round of war of words – the latest being letter war between former CM Nitish Kumar and his former deputy Sushil Kumar Modi over drug purchase “irregularities”, neither camp is willing to declare its respective leader for 2015 Assembly polls, which RJD chief Lalu Prasad calls a battle between “Mandal and kamandal” and BJP terms “give pajama after kurta (state rule after central rule).
While JD (U)’s bid to rope in RJD and Congress in government has been put on hold because of inherent contradictions in much-hyped grand alliance, BJP legislature party leader and former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi also faces stiff challenge in getting projected as NDA CM nominee from senior party leaders, Chandramohan Roy, Nand Kishore Yadav, Prem Kumar and Rameshwar Chourasia. Former BJP MP and party national spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, who otherwise reiterates like other leaders thaf BJP parliamentary board would take a call on Bihar leadership, also nurses his dreams of being projected as BJP CM nominee as an “outside chance to outwit” the grand alliance with “M (Muslim) card”. It is a different thing that most party leaders do not subscribe to chances of “M card” as it “may amount to fall in RJD-JD (U) trap of counter appeasement at expense of BJP’s own constituency”.
The grand alliance that looks upbeat with recent Assembly bypolk scoreline of 6:4 in its favour is not sure of its leader for 2015 battle. JD (U) may well be sure about Nitish Kumar leading the party but it cannot claim that Kumar will be leader of the alliance and hence, CM nominee of the grand alliance.
Lalu Prasad, who relished his role of being the “elder brother to Nitish” during recent bypoll campaigns by speaking the last, has not opened his card yet. It is true that Prasad is ruled out for CM choice because of his conviction in one of fodder scam cases but he is aware of his party getting 22 per cent votes against JD (U)’s 15 per cent. One theory doing the round says that Nitish can lead the alliance but RJD will contest on more number of seats than JD (U). Another theory says it could be post-poll decision to decide on CM. Though Congress does not have much stake in grand alliance, it is not willing to concede its bargaining power by joining Jeetan Ram Manjhi government. Congress does seem to have soft corner foe Nitish Kumar but it wants its share in the alliance as a “good balance tilter”.
Not to forget Manjhi, he keeps shuffling his stand between “Nitish being his leader” to “why I cannot be CM again” in fluid state politics. Bihar presents a simple case of “CM Open 2015” as described by a senior journalist and resident editor of a local news channel Shivpujan Jha.
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