Kolkata: The seeds of acrimony seem to be approaching the exit door. As the state Assembly polls draw near, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad’s RJD are on the cusp of burying the hatchet. Remember, Nitish drew Lalu’s ire after he walked out of their collaboration to seek BJP’s hand to set up the government.
It all started with Lalu’s son Tejashwi in accordance with Nitish’s advocacy for a caste-based census, Lalu stepped on the gas by praising the CM as a human being.
And now, Tejashwi has taken offence to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s snub in granting Nitish an appointment on the contentious issue. “If he has not been granted time for a week now, somehow it is an insult to the CM,” Tejashwi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The changing dimensions in Bihar politics are discernible. As Nitish attempts to reach out to Modi’s political foes, Tejashwi and Lalu’s overt amicable gestures are worth a note. Nitish and BJP are in alliance in Bihar but with the former’s JD(U) feeble in terms of numbers, he is heavily dependent on the saffron party to stay afloat. With RJD being the single largest party in the assembly, Nitish being the weatherman he is would try to keep a channel for negotiations open in case Modi decides to withdraw support to his government.
From RJD’s perspective, a go at forming the government again is too lucrative to overlook. With opposition leaders under the captaincy of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee stepping up the campaign against the BJP, Lalu with his seniority and experience would be game for playing a pivotal role and with Nitish parting ways with BJP, the former Bihar CM and RJD supremo may not be hesitant in offering him an olive branch forgetting the past enmity.
They say, “Politics throws strange bedfellows.” We are tempted to adhere to the adage once again.