Friday, June 06, 2008

Bihar Political Analysis May

PATNA:The 30 –months-old NDA government in Bihar faces crisis for its survival due to differences within the alliance. The recent attack on a senior BJP legislator, Phalguni Prasad Yadav, at Chakai in Jamui district by the food minister, Narendra Kumar Singh, in a public meeting has once again exposed the rift between the two partners of the NDA in Bihar.

In an earlier incident the then culture and sports minister, Janardan Singh Segriwal,a senior BJP leader was publicly humiliated by a Janata Dal(U) legislator, Rampravesh Rai, in the minister’s constituency. The minister was insulted by the Janata Dal(U) legislator on the high-way.

The BJP legislators are agitated as they feel they are being treated as number two in the NDA government. They feel that the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, has done nothing to control his party legislators and leaders who have time and again acted against the BJP. Narendra Kumar Singh is senior to Kumar in the politics and had been involved in many controversies in the past too. In November 2,005, he had assaulted a magistrate on duty at the assembly gate as the magistrate wanted his identity card. Last year, he assaulted an old woman at Sabour Agriculture University, where the woman had gone to seek job for his son.

The minister and the BJP MLA, Phalguni Prasad Yadav, were sharing the dais for an official function at Chakai. Later the minister pushed the legislator and he fell down from the dais and fractured his leg. The BJP legislators have complained about the matter to senior leaders in Delhi and their legislature party leader, Sushil Kumar Modi, who is himself facing rebellion in the BJP for “mortgaging” the party to the Janata Dal(U).

The BJP legislators are seeking his removal as they feel that it is due to him that JD(U) which was a smaller party than BJP in Bihar has now overgrown BJP. The rebels have been out in the open ever since the cabinet reshuffle took place and they allege that Modi has always used his proximity to party president Rajnath Singh and general secretary Arun Jaitley to quiet any dissent in the party.

Earlier the rebels were confined to the in-house discussions but this time it appears that the nearly two dozens legislatures have decided to go for an all out war. The fact that Portfolios of two senior party leaders Nand Kishore Yadav and Ashwini Chaubey were changed has given fuel to the fire and it would require more than political acumen on the part of Modi to douse this fire.

The state BJP is also apprehensive that in the next general election it would be the JD(U) that will win hands down as all the credit of the work being undertaken in the state has the stamp of Nitish Kumar in it and he has successfully managed to portray himself as the face of the present government. This has led to the fear among the party legislatures that BJP would be reduced to a non-entity in the next election. And they feel that’s it’s Modi who is responsible for this as according to them Modi has promoted himself, not the party.

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