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Bihar political crisis: Synchronised events show months of back-room work

NEW DELHI: There was more than a hint of synchronisation in the events played out in Patna and Delhi as BJP played its cards astutely on Wednesday with a scheduled meeting of the parliamentary board quickly deciding to back Nitish Kumar as CM and seal the deal for a coalition government.

Having already offered outside support to Nitish in case he broke with RJD, the BJP brass revised its public script almost every few minutes as the party first announced that it would would not like mid-terms polls in Bihar and then a little later announced that it would join a coalition.

The two parties worked over recent months to revive their 17-year-long alliance which ended abruptly in June 2013 when Nitish parted ways expressing strong opposition to Narendra Modi being considered as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate.

The tie-up is intended to highlight a common agenda against corruption as also underscore an alliance with a major backward caste leader, a significant factor in Bihar and neighbouring UP. With Modi’s own OBC credentials seen as an asset, the pact with Nitish weakens the argument that BJP caters to upper caste interests.

As the high political drama unfolded soon after Nitish sought an appointment with Bihar governor Kesarinath Tripathi on Wednesday evening, BJP moved to leave no confusion about the return of a JD(U)-BJP government in the state. Asked about a reunion with BJP, Nitish bolstered saffron spirits by saying his next move would be in the interest of the state.

Soon after Nitish’s resignation, PM Narendra Modi tweeted his approval of the move as he linked it with the war against corruption, one of the major planks of the NDA government including measures like demonetisation and the law to crack down on benami property.

Modi tweeted, “I congratulate Nitish Kumar for joining fight against corruption. 125 crore people of the country are with him… Rising above political affiliations, fight against corruption is in the interest of Bihar and the country.”

Later, Modi’s tweets turned out to be the official BJP line as several of its leaders hinted at joining hands with Nitish, terming it an alliance of crusaders against corruption.

It may be a coincidence but BJP convened its parliamentary board meeting initially about finalising candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls. However, there was a formal briefing about political developments in Bihar after the parliamentary board meet.

Sushil Modi said BJP had decided to support Nitish. “Nityanandji and I called on Nitishji. BJP will support him, will support the government under him, We will inform the governor also,” Sushil Modi said after a brief meeting with party legislators in Patna.

Reports of Lalu Prasad‘s confidantes meeting BJP leaders to plot against Nitish only served to quicken events. Sources said Lalu’s aides urged leniency in a probe against the RJD boss and offered to unsettle the Nitish government in return.

Source : timesofindia



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Bihar political crisis: Synchronised events show months of back-room work

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