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Nitish Kumar: CM of Mahagathbandhan on Wednesday, CM of NDA on Thursday – An analysis
Politics is said to be a game of uncertainty especially alliance politics, where unpredictable partnerships can occur. However, whatever conspired in Bihar last night in beyond imagination.

First, Nitish Kumar resigned on Wednesday citing probity in public life. Later, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav called a press conference alleging that Nitish Kumar had broken the ruling alliance and sided with the BJP because he was facing trial for murdering a man in 1991.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to congratulate Nitish Kumar for "joining fight against corruption" (read leaving Lalu Yadav) on Twitter, and soon Sushil Kumar Modi announced BJP's support for Nitish Kumar. Hastily, a joint meeting between the JD(U) and BJP was organised and before anybody could understand what was cooking BJP's letter of support for the JD(U) had reached the Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.

At the press conference, a miffed Lalu said, "The Prime Minister's tweet after the resignation indicates how strong this conspiracy was to destabilise the alliance."

Within flat three hours, the mahagathbandhan government was biting dust and had been replaced by an NDA government. Today, on Thursday, Nitish Kumar was yet again sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar at 10 am.

Although, there were some speculations about the apparent cracks in the mahagathbandhan but none had expected things to drastically change at such a fast pace. I had personally predicted through my previous articles that Nitish Kumar's gambit is to rein in Lalu's RJD like he had reined over BJP during the course of his tenure as NDA's partner. I had thought that Nitish's return to the NDA will not be that lucrative for him because Modi-led NDA is much stronger and dominating in comparison to the Vajpayee-led NDA. However, I have always maintained in my articles that in politics, nothing is impossible and whatever happened on Wednesday evening is a stark example of the same.

Now let's do some analysis on what actually could have led to the present scenario!

However, one thing that is for sure is that what appears to be a fast-paced development might not necessarily be a spontaneous act. It must have been carefully planned, choreographed and delivered with due diligence which not only stunned and stumped the Congress and RJD but probably delivered the last nail in the united opposition's coffin.

What could be Nitsh's justification?

Nitish must have realised that the so-called united opposition is not going to succeed in the 2019 general election due to lack of credible leadership. It was also clear that the opposition was not going to make Nitish Kumar the prime ministerial candidate. Thus, for him, the writing was on the wall that he had no political future remaining with the opposition.

Another valid point to be noted is that Nitish's popularity base has overlapped with the admiration people have for Narendra Modi. A sizable number of voters in Bihar are common supporters of both Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi. They will vote for Modi in Lok Sabha election and for Nitish in Assembly election.

It's also common knowledge how uncomfortable Nitish was with the RJD in the ruling coalition particularly due to Lalu Yadav's remote controlled domination. Around eight ministries were with Lalu Yadav's both sons where he was dictating terms. The administration in general was in shambles. If such things would have been allowed to continue, Nitish would have found it difficult to retain power in 2020.

UP Assembly election results have clearly shown that corruption and inefficiency are going to be the main factors in elections rather than cast- or religion-based politics. Nitish perhaps foresaw the future and took a leap of faith believing that he had brighter prospects with the NDA. He berried his Prime ministerial ambition and decided to be in NDA's camp so that he could remain in power for at least a few more years.

But where did RJD miss the bus?

Despite his long political experience, Lalu Yadav perhaps failed to judge Nitish's gambit. He could have saved the grand alliance by asking his son Tejaswi Yadav to resign. He could have lived today to fight back tomorrow.

Ever since the controversy over Sahabuddin's release from jail, it had become clear that there was some bickering between the JD(U) and RJD, albeit behind closed curtains. Nitish had been looking for an excuse to walk away from the alliance for sometime and the corruption charges against Tejaswi Yadav worked as a catalyst.

Lalu Prasad Yadav completely misjudged the real intentions of Nitish misinterpreting them as merely a fight for domination over the coalition. Had he had any idea of the way things would unfold, he would surely have asked his son Tejaswi to resign.

Moreover, these are testing times for Lalu. In the situation that he is in, under pressure, with charges of corruption against him and his family members pilling on, he can't afford to have a hostile government either at the Centre or the state.

The consequences of Nitish Kumar's abandoning the alliance are going to be very damaging for Lalu Parsad Yadav in particular because he will now be blamed for breaking the alliance for the love of his sons. Soon a shouting match will errupt in the opposition that to protect dynastic rule Lalu sacrificed the alliance. There are also chances of a rebellion breaking out within the RJD.

What does the Congress take home from this episode?

The weak leadership of Rahul Gandhi once again stands exposed. A united opposition always depends upon a credible and strong coalition leader. The general impression is that Rahul Gandhi lacks the credentials required for keeping parties united. In this current episode of Bihar too, according to Nitish Kumar, Rahul Gandhi was duly contacted and informed, as Congress is the junior-most alliance partner of the mahagathbandhan. Rahul Gandhi should have come to Bihar and sorted out the issue. But he remained ignorant and the coalition broke.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi must take a note that Rahul Gandhi is failing miserably. If he is not replaced soon, forget about allies, many senior and capable leader of the party are expected to leave Congress before the 2019 Lok Sabha election. If Congress persists with Rahul Gandhi their seats in the Parliament might drop even more in the 2019 general election.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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