It all started on 26th July 2017, 6.33 pm. The (former, for about 16 hours) Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar was on his way to the Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor of Bihar, Keshari Nath Tripathi. There were rumours saying that the Mahagathbandhan had finally reached its demise. And within 39 minutes, they stopped being rumours. Bihar’s Chief Minister resigned. He did not want to resign, but it was a “sacrifice” as he could not be a part of a government whose Deputy CM was involved in corruption. Glad he finally noticed that after allying with Lalu Prasad Yadav and The Indian National Congress in the first place.
Two of India’s biggest political dynasties are now out of power in Bihar, thanks to Nitish Kumar’s principles (or lack, thereof). Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) supremo, Lalu Prasad Yadav did not stay quiet, following the developments. An interesting quote from Rajneeti comes back to my mind, “Rajneeti mein murde kabhi gaade nahin jaate, unhe zinda rakha jaata hai, taki time aane par woh bole.” And that is exactly what Lalu did. When Nitish’s political ambitions jeopardised his son’s, Lalu resorted the oldest trick in the book. He resurfaced murder accusations against Kumar. But, in vain as Nitish went on to accept unconditional support from the Bhartiya Janta Party to stake a claim for the government.
Rahul Gandhi was quite upset with the unfolding of events. When asked, he told the reporters that he knew about the cracks in the Mahagathbandhan since the last three months. He went on to say that neither JD (U) nor Nitish Kumar had any principles. He conveniently abandoned the cause of secularism for his selfish motives. This might be the only time someone can agree with Rahul Gandhi. He even said that politics shows you what is going through the minds of people. Quite ironic coming from a person who has no idea what goes on in his own mind.
Bhartiya Janta Party wasted no time in capitalising on the breakup. They invited Nitish to stake a claim of the government and offered them unconditional support to JD(U). Prime Minister Modi took to Twitter to congratulate Nitish Kumar for keeping corrupt forces at bay. Obviously, looking at the whole episode does raise a question if this was a planned coup by the BJP.
Former cricketer turned minister and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son, Tejaswi Yadav lashed out at Nitish Kumar saying that he (Kumar) wants to form a Government with Deshdrohis and with people who he insulted during elections. He even threatened to hold a dharna if not called to form a government. But Nitish Kumar had caught them sleeping and already staked his claim with the support of BJP MLAs. The magic number of 122 seats was well within their reach.
It was no secret that the whole idea of a Mahagathbandhan was a ticking time bomb. In the alliance that barely lasted for two years, they were on the opposite sides when it came to their stands on any major decision made by the Central Government. While Lalu Prasad disagreed, Nitish Kumar whole heartedly supported demonetization, GST, and an RSS man (Ramnath Kovind) as their presidential candidate over Bihar ki Beti (Meira Kumar).
Nitish Gymnastics pic.twitter.com/Lkh5lMeqxt
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) July 28, 2017
The infographic above represents the epitome of loyalty that Nitish Kumar is. Over the years, he has abandoned cause after cause, ideology after ideology. He has very conveniently “sacrificed” his seat to fight against corruption. Earlier, he could not ally with the BJP as they were not secular. The only difference right now is that it is a fight to stay relevant, rather than having national ambitions. How long will his gharwapsi to the NDA last? Only time will tell. In Nitish Kumar’s shrewd brand of politics, there are no ideals or principles; just opportunities. To sum it up:
Some men change their party for the sake of their principles — others their principles for the sake of their party.