On the heels of Kejriwal’s tumultuous come back in Delhi, we have another thorn in BJP’s flesh, former ally Nitish Kumar resuming his position as CM in Bihar, a seat he gave up almost impulsively as a reaction to his party faring badly in the Lok Sabha elections held last year.
It may be recalled that one fall out of Modi being declared official PM candidate of the BJP, had been Nitish breaking the alliance of his party with BJP that had weakened but not destroyed his government. His earlier Dy Chief Minister, Sushil Modi had become his greatest adversary. Nitish had hand picked Jitan Ram to be the CM in his place.
Everyone knows how the happenings of the last few days unfolded and quick on the heels of the Delhi defeat, BJP had to taste (proxy) defeat again when their ‘mahadalit’ friend could not carry the day and resigned paving the way for Nitish to come back unopposed.
Though BJP had issued a whip to support Manjhi when and if it came to proving his prowress on the floor, the wind was taken out of their sails when the Speaker ruled out voting by secret ballot or voice vote – as happened in Maharashtra – and cited Article 208 of the Indian constitution and Rule 56 of the state assembly to clearly state how the voting is to be done.
The Governor of Bihar, took his time in inviting Nitish to form the government and Nitish Kumar and his supporters had to go visit the Governor and demand an invitation yesterday evening.
Now the outcome is that ‘Happy Days are here again’ for the Janata Parivar. There are two major events to celebrate – the return of power of Nitish and the coming together politically of six coconstituents of the divided Janata Parivar – a move BJP fought with all its might and maneuvers but failed.
After the entire Janata leadership attends Nitish’s swearing in today in Patna they will move to Delhi to celebrate the wedding of the year – that will see SP, MP Pratap Yadav nephew of Mulayam Singh of UP tie the knot with Raj Laxmi Yadav, daughter of Lalu and Rabari devi.
Nitish has invited a slew of serving and non serving non-BJP chief ministers to his swearing in. Observors said it is intended as a show of strength and unity to Modi to act on his promise of greater co operative federalism.
Nitish will not fall into the secular – religious debate this time, instead he will concentrate on good governance and the demand for greater autonomy of the states and will highlight the perceived neglect of the eastern part of India by his government so far.
So far Mamata Banerjee, CM of West Bengal, Tarun Gogoi CM of Assam and former Jhabarkhand CM Babulal Marandi have confirmed attendance as also many influential Congress leaders – it is to be seen if Odisha CM Biju also attends.