Saturday, May 03, 2008

Bihar political Analysis April

The long awaited cabinet reshuffle in Bihar has threatened to turn into a major headache for both the JD (U) and BJP. The shuffle was being awaited for the last 2 and a half years by the legislatures and their supporters from both the coalition partner and when now it has finally occurred it has led to growing tensions in BJP and JD(U).

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar replaced ten members of his Cabinet and added 19 new faces. Eight leaders from the Janata Dal (U) and two ministers from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) were asked to resign from their ministership on ground of 'less than satisfactory performance'.

The state BJP is facing its first major problem since time immemorial. Angry protests and voice of dissent among the supporters of those leaders who were dropped from the cabinet including former Sports, Art & Culture Minister Janardan Singh Sigriwal and former Health Minister Chandramohan Rai has forced the BJP headquarters in Delhi to intervene.

Former ministers and their supporters are pressing for the removal of Deputy CM Sushil Modi and party state president Radha Mohan Singh. The removal of Chandramohan Rai has caused the most resentment as he is a very senior leader and had done quite well when he was in charge of the Health ministry.

The disgruntled leaders of BJP are blaming Modi of practicing autocratic culture and have alleged that he is doing all he can to stop any other party leader from gaining roots. The vociferous protests forced the BJP to summon Modi twice to Delhi in order to work out some solution. Kalraj Mishra, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary and party in-charge of Bihar was also rushed to Patna to calm the protestors but he was not able to make any headway.

Though reports coming from within the party suggest that Modi has been given a breather till the Karnataka polls and the dissenters have been told that their issues will be sorted out after the polls in Karnataka and till then they have been asked to cooperate with the new ministers and avoid using media to voice their anger.

It’s not that JD (U) hasn’t developed any fissures post reshuffle but Nitish Kumar has been able to quell any such protest within the JD (U) only because he is a much taller leader than Modi. No other leader in the state JD (U) can match the political credentials of Nitish. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Modi who though is experienced yet is young when it comes to some of the senior state BJP leaders. And it’s these leaders that have let it know to the party High command that they are being felt led down and their long standing loyalty is being ignored.

In between all the recent political development it seems that “Development of Bihar” has taken a back seat. 

Although Nitish Kumar has categorically said that development of Bihar will still be the main emphasis of the present state government but it’s anyone guess that with clashes of so many political aspirations and ambitions, how long the social and economic development of Bihar will continue to be the primary focus.

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