Nitish Kumar: No permanent allies of this political opportunist
Stairway to power goes through many U-Turns and who knows it better than Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. He had once said, "I shall get power, by hook or crook, but once I have got the power I will do good work." Though Bihar has improved significantly under his leadership, his thirst for power has his hypocrisy out in the open. How? Let's see.
Breaks away from NDA
Ahead of 2014 Elections, Nitish Kumar parted ways with BJP in July 2013. The two had been allies for over 17 years. Why, you ask? Apparently, he wasn't comfortable with NDA after Modi was nominated head of the BJP's campaign committee for the 2014 polls. Many claimed that continuing with NDA under Modi would have diverted Kumar's Muslim voters to RJD. Opportunist much?
Flip-flop on Grand Alliance
To fight the Modi-Shah juggernaut, the Congress, JD(U) and RJD together formed the Grand Alliance and won the 2015 Bihar Assembly Elections, making Kumar the CM. But, he soon quit the alliance to join the BJP, again. Reason? The then Deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav of RJD refused to give in to Kumar's demand to step down after corruption allegations. At least, that's the reason he projected to public!
Toddy in, Toddy out
In 2016 when Nitish and Lalu Yadav's RJD were still part of the 'Mahagathbandhan,' Kumar banned the sale and consumption of Toddy (fermented palm tree juice produced locally) under Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill, 2016. But under pressure from his corrupt ally Lalu, Nitish had to reverse the order in July and he said the ban won't apply on Toddy "as of now." Fickle-mindedness or shrewd politics, who knows?
U-Turn on demonetization
Nitish, who had earlier appreciated Modi's demonetization move, backtracked last month. "I was initially the supporter of demonetization...but how many people benefited from it? Some powerful people shifted their cash from one place to another." With 2019 Elections approaching, Kumar's blood pressure is on the rise since he wants more seats to contest from Bihar under the NDA. We call it U-turn, and you?
Kumar and his demand from the BJP
More recently, Nitish has once again locked horns with the BJP in the state. The JD(U) wants Kumar to be the face of the alliance for 2019 elections. It won't be possible until the JD(U) gets to fight from maximum tickets. The party has suggested on contesting 25 of 40 Lok Sabha seats. Many say that Nitish has jumped the gun, but has he?
Battle for survival
Politically speaking, his concerns are genuine. In 2014 elections, he won only two seats in Bihar, but hoped to turn it around in 2019. He knows if the JDU doesn't get its share, BJP will overpower him, diminishing the legacy this six-time CM has built.