Parliamentary board president of Bihar’s ruling party, the Janata Dal United (JD-U), Upendra Kushwa has launched a yatra with a vow to catapult the party into the forefront of national politics. This the second unseasonal political yatra, taken out close on the heels of Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan’s Ashirvad Yatra, within a year of assembly election results which returned a weakened Nitish Kumar into power with the opposition making bold predictions of a mid-term elections in the state.
While this kind of political muscle flexing may also be considered unusual during the rainy season, it is not without reason since Nitish Kumar led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s razor-thin majority in the 243-member state assembly could be put to test during the forthcoming monsoon session of the assembly starting July 26.
Political experts say strong undercurrents are affecting Bihar’s politics as seen in the JD-U getting just one Union cabinet berth, a number it had refused in 2019; and LJP rebel Pashupati Kumar Paras too making it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ministry with Chirag Paswan calling it a result of a conspiracy by Nitish Kumar to split the LJP.
In such a fluid situation, JD-U has been busy with strengthening the organisation while protecting its severely depleted turf. This was evidenced recently when on one hand it tried to shore up its numbers by inducting three floaters but on the other, it also made extra effort to win back party MLA Manjeet Singh, who was made the state vice president after he threatened to quit.
CM Nitish Kumar has also decided to revive his weekly programme Janata Ke Durbar me Mukhya Mantri after five years. It is likely to give him a platform to counter the opposition narrative of the state’s failure to manage the pandemic and the floods.
Political analyst Nawal Kishore Choudhary said that Bihar politics was witnessing intense mind games with attempts to out-manoeuvre one-another.
“One thing is clear that we are witnessing a weakened Nitish Kumar when it comes to his bargaining power with the Centre, which may have its roots in his poor show in the assembly election. He wants to regain his strength, but that is not easy in the present circumstances. I will not be surprised if there was some tacit understanding between chief minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP top brass,” Choudhary said.
News Source: HindustanTimes