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Bihar Chink In BJP’s Armour Can Be Game Changer For 2024

| Updated: August 9, 2022 16:56

The Talking Point: The Bihar political crisis.

What is happening?: Some say poetic justice. Others say it was just a matter of time. In a nutshell, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has chosen to dump his alliance with BJP and instead forge ties with Tejashwi Yadav-led RJD. That means now the Bihar government will be run by the JD(U)-RJD tie-up. It means for once, BJP is on the backfoot and the NDA alliance has failed in Bihar.

As an aside, why poetic justice? Remember Operation Lotus? The BJP is now infamously famous for reversing popular mandate and assuming power through deliberations with smaller players, who can influence others to join the BJP fold. See what happened in recent times in Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra? If the fractured mandate did not push Lotus to power, the flower chose to bloom in the backwaters of local politics and then upturn the bouquet voted to power by the people and/or forged through alliance.

In Bihar’s case? The Bihar Assembly elections last took place in November 2020.The three-phase elections were held for a total of 243 seats. The single largest party emerged the RJD with 75 seats, followed by the BJP at 74. The JD(U) notched 43 seats while the INC and CPI(ML) (L) each bagged 19 and 12 seats respectively. The majority in the House stands at 122. No one wants a mid-term election and if Nitish Kumar can prove his majority, which he does have, the rest of the three years will carry on with a CM Nitish and Dy CM Tejashwi government.

Watch this celebratory viral video doing the rounds:

In 2020: Assembly polls in Bihar was a tight one with the National Democratic Alliance winning 125 seats. BJP won 74 of these, the Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar 43, the Vikassheel Insaan Party 4 and Hindustan Awaam Party (Secular) 4. This put the NDA just above the requisite 122-majority mark needed to form the government.

So, what went wrong? Well, there has been some noise about how Nitish Kumar has been slighted by the Modi-Shah dictates. Added, in recent times, party president stated how the “BJP will wipe out all regional players in the 2024 General Elections.” Insiders state that Nitish was feeling suffocated because the party high command had its yoke around his neck and no decision could be taken without the BJP’s nod.

The RCP Singh factor: The tension between the two parties hit breakpoint over Nitish Kumar’s concerns that MHA Amit Shah is working relentlessly to split the JD(U). To this end, Nitish Kumar blames RCP Singh, a former leader from his own party, for serving as Amit Shah’s proxy. RCP Singh quit JD(U) on the weekend after his party accused him of deep corruption.

RCP Singh

In 2017, RCP Singh joined the Union cabinet as a representative of Nitish Kumar’s party. The CM was upset about being offered only one Cabinet position. On Monday, his closest aide said that RCP Singh had decided to join the Centre of his own accord and had informed Nitish Kumar that Amit Shah had said he alone “was acceptable as the JDU representative in the Cabinet.”

What next? To go back to the 2020 results, the RJD and its allies won 110 seats. The RJD finished as the single-largest party with 75 seats. Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM had won five seats in the Seemanchal region of the state. Four of its MLAs have switched to the RJD. All in all, the Kumar-Yadav combine is set to derail the BJP’s NDA in Bihar.

Last heard: The rumblings which started Monday, gained momentum Tuesday and in a short while from now, at 4 pm, the Nitish-Tejashwi duo is expected to meet the governor with clear proof of numbers. Which leaves the NDA alliance in a small minority. Unless, as the BJP is known to do, spring another surprise by horse trading and indulging in resort politics to bring over a majority among the 43 JD(U) MLAs.

Only time will tell.

Also Read: Election Strategist Prashant Kishor Hints At Joining Bihar Politics

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