9:28 pm - Monday November 9, 2015

Why egoistic Nitish cheated Bihar by making Manjhi CM

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Nitish Kumar is now former chief minister of Bihar. But in his own estimation he has elevated his stature to that of a puppeteer. In Jitan Ram Manjhi he will install his man as the new chief minister of Bihar and run the state government via remote control. He has suddenly catapulted himself to the position of late Bal Thackeray and Sonia Gandhi. Thackeray installed Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane as Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and held the remote control. Sonia Gandhi nominated Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister and remained the principal power centre.

But Nitish Kumar has put himself on a pedestal higher than them. Thackeray or Sonia were still officially led their respective parties. He is just an MLC of JD(U). he does not hold any position of significance in the party’s organisational structure but he is supreme leader of the party. NitishParty president Sharad Yadav with all his political acumen and famed maneuvering ability only has decorative value. Three key questions emerge from what transpired yesterday. First, is this Nitish’s political masterstroke or is he committing the same mistake that he committed last year, dumping BJP to lure the Muslim vote? This time by sacrificing his own chair to lure Mahadalits? (His nominee, Jitan Ram Manjhi is a Mahadalit) Second, has Nitish, also called Sushashan Babu (by supporters and rivals alike) dumped his governance and stability plank to play naked caste vote politics? Third, is he on a simple ego trip? By resigning, this means he does not have to shake hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and constantly seek his help to build Bihar, which he would have been obliged to do as Chief Minister. His rivals and a section of party men believe that he perhaps couldn’t stomach the thought of having to constant close interactions with PM Modi. Given the kind of personal antipathy that Nitish has developed against Modi, he certainly would do everything to avoid these claims. Both Thackeray and Sonia paid the price of being puppeteers. Thackeray changed two chief ministers but at the end of that government’s term in 1999, the Shiv Sena was thrown out of power and remained in exile for 15 years. That the BJP-Shiv Sena could come to power now can only be attributed to the Modi wave. The Congress has been reduced to a humiliating defeat of 44 seats, whereby it can’t even officially claim opposition party and seek the post of Leader of Opposition for Rahul Gandhi and Sonia. Nitish should also compare the credentials of Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane vis-à-vis his nominee Jitan Ram Manjhi. Take a look at Jitan Ram Manjhi’s credentials.

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