Editorial

Minority CM

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/15/2020 1:00:38 PM IST

 Nitish Kumar is to become the chief minister of Bihar for the fourth consecutive term, a record that will be difficult to beat as much as the difficulty in finding another wily politician like Nitish who has dominated Bihar for over 15 years but who is definitely on his way out. Nitish may not be forced into retirement that early because the BJP needs him as part of its 2021 West Bengal assembly polls and 2024 Lok Sabha election. In Bihar, the BJP has at long last, surpassed the Janata Dal(United) but is saddled with an exhausted leader in Nitish Kumar. It is only a matter of time before the party asserts itself and takes the driver’s seat in the state. The Bihar scenario is baffling- BJP won 74 -almost double the seats won by JD(U) which won 43 seats, yet the latter will head the government. Again, though the Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD) won the mandate with higher voting percentage and 75 seats, yet it will not form the government. The BJP has Nitish eating out of its hands now and installing him amid a massive Nitish-hatao campaign isn’t going to be popular. BJP can dispense of Nitish sooner rather than later. He has served three terms as the state’s chief minister since 2005, but has been a pale shadow of himself - directionless, fickle and far from his earlier alluring image of sushasan babu. RJD leader Manoj Jha had taken a jibe at Nitish, saying he was becoming chief minister but did not have the people’s mandate. Jha was having in mind the Bihar result where Nitish’s JDU could win only 43 and with BJP’s 74 seats, forms the government. Though the NDA has dashed Tejashwi Yadav’s hopes of becoming the chief minister of Bihar,his party RJD emerged as the single largest party in the state by winning 75 seats with a total vote share of 23.1 per cent. If anything, Nitish’s image and popularity have both seen a significant dip, a factor that has possibly weighed the BJP down. Nitish’s flip-flop on the BJP, his commitment to the idea of secularism, his frequent camp-shifting and the absence of any coherent political, ideological or social thought have made him a far paler and diminished version of his earlier self. The JD (U) chief’s ‘silent’ women vote bank may have remained intact, but his reduced numbers are a reflection of his reduced stature and political clout. Letting Nitish be the face of Bihar government is most definitely going to weigh the BJP down in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Probably what is keeping the BJP from doing what it wants is the forthcoming big West Bengal assembly election in 2021. The BJP needs Nitish in Bihar so as to work together work in West Bengal to oust Mamata Banerjee. The BJP’s other unlikely blessing in disguise, has been the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), under Assauddin Owaisi. AIMIM has been ensuring that Muslim votes do not go to Congress or other non-BJP parties. In Bihar, AIMIM cornered majority of Muslim votes and won five seats. Though Nitish will become chief minister again, he will have to be beholden to the BJP, in a situation where he may not be comfortable as he will now have to play second fiddle.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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