Nitish’s Movehttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/nitishs-move/

Nitish’s Move

Most newspapers have tried to gauge the effects of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s withdrawal from the BJP-led NDA

Nitish’s Move

Most newspapers have tried to gauge the effects of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s withdrawal from the BJP-led NDA. Hasan Kamal,in his column in Rashtriya Sahara on June 22,writes: “Kumar has paid the maximum attention to the plight of backward Muslims,who form 85 per cent of the Muslim population,and have been ignored by upper class Muslim and non-Muslim leaders,including by Lalu Prasad Yadav…The backward Muslims had put some demands up before Kumar,which he accepted…Kumar is afraid of losing their votes.” The recently launched daily,Aziz-ul-Hind,in its editorial on June 18,writes: “An issue that has come up before Muslims after Kumar’s separation from the BJP is whether they should support him because he has disassociated himself from the extremist BJP and Modi…After all,if Kumar was really a lover of secularism,he would have detached himself from the BJP much sooner.”

Naya Iran

The Delhi-based weekly,Nai Duniya,edited by former Samajwadi Party leader,Shahid Siddiqui,writes: “The rise of Hassan Rouhani has created a new wave of expectations. The world community considers the arrival of Rouhani as an opportunity for Iran to change its policy,thinking and stance —something that can change the image of Iran.”

The daily Siasat,in an editorial titled ‘Challenges before Hassan Rouhani’,on June 17,writes: “Hassan Rouhani was the nuclear negotiator during the tenure of Mohammed Khatami and had suspended the processing of uranium during his tenure; this was restarted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Also,the Iranian economy has been badly affected by the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies; giving the economy a fillip is also going to be a challenge that is important for Rouhani.” The paper adds that “Iran cannot remain detached from the situation in Syria. There are allegations of Iran’s support to Bashar al-Assad,which Iran cannot outright deny. Iran needs to consider anew its stand on the matter. The challenges before Rouhani are not easy.”

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The daily,Rahnuma-e-Deccan ,in its comment on June 18 writes that,“After the success of a moderate leader,there are prospects of improvement in the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.” The paper notes that apart from the Saudi King Abdullah,leaders of Gulf countries that have strained relations with Iran,have also sent congratulatory messages to the newly elected president.

Uttarakhand floods

The havoc created by the early rains and cloudbursts in different parts of Uttarakhand has drawn great concern and sympathy. The daily,Sahafat ,in an editorial writes: “Before the floods,many experts and scientists had warned of an impending disaster. Environmentalists and other experts say that the unplanned development carried out in the area,and the manner in which trees have indiscriminately been cut in large numbers,have been the causes of the intensity of destruction. Many dams have been constructed that have created environmental imbalances,and the mountain slopes are no longer strong. In areas like Rudraprayag,Joshimath and Chamoli houses have been constructed in large numbers without any technical planning and environmental considerations,which is hazardous.”

The initiative of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi,in launching his own rescue and relief measures for people from his state,has come under considerable criticism. The editor of the daily,Inquilab,Shakeel Shamsi,in his column on June 25,writes: “It bears consideration that if CMs of all states start conducting surveys of the affected areas from helicopters,there would be no space left for aircraft meant for relief… The truth behind Modi’s claim of rescuing 15,000 Gujaratis is that Gujaratis who had already been rescued by the airforce and other agencies,and placed in Dehradun,were taken to Gujarat in Modi’s planes. And everyone knows that conditions in Dehradun are completely normal.” The paper terms this as,“laashon pe siasat (politics over corpses)”.

Compiled by Seema Chishti