Patna,(BiharTimes): Perhaps Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar would not like any compliment from this quarter at this point of time.
On Thursday while addressing foreign correspondents in New Delhi RSS chief (sarsanghchalak) Mohanrao Bhagwat had placed Bihar ahead of Gujarat as a model for “good governance”.
In normal situation Nitish would have appreciated such a fulsome praise from anyone, even the RSS chief, but perhaps not now when the latter has thrown his lot behind the Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi.
The appreciation of Nitish’s government by the RSS has sparked off a debate whether the Sangh Parivar is playing politics with Nitish Kumar or vice versa. However, it is also true that RSS on Friday denied that its chief had said any such thing to the foreign correspondents.
RSS’s praise came as a big surprise for several reasons. Firstly, the RSS chief said so before the foreign media. Secondly, only a few days back Nitish and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari had a lunch, reportedly at the house of another BJP leader, Arun Jaitley. Thirdly, the BJP said that it is not announcing any prime ministerial candidate. Fourthly, only a few weeks back the same RSS chief openly sided with Narendra Modi and opposed Nitish’s demand for the secular prime ministerial candidate of the NDA. And lastly only last Sunday BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani, in his blog, wrote that there is likelihood of non-Congress, non-BJP Prime Minister after 2014 parliamentary election.
Many in Janata Dal (United) felt that Advani hinted at the candidature of Nitish Kumar for the post of PM. But perhaps they did not read the blog. Advani also wrote that Congress or BJP supported PM such as Charan Singh, V P Singh, Chandrashekar, H D Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral did not prove long lasting.
Till a couple of years back Nitish had a good relationship with the RSS and even Narendra Modi. He had no problem in shaking hands with the Gujarat chief minister in May 2009. He had greeted and shared dais with the then RSS chief, K Sudarshan, in Patna.
However, it is since 2010 that he started maintaining distance from the Sangh Parivar and Narendra Modi. Some political observers are of the opinion that he became more ambitious. So for playing bigger national role he wanted to maintain distance from the hardliners in the Sangh Parivar.
But then the RSS and BJP had two-pronged strategy for Nitish. By repeatedly embracing him they may want to damage him before the minority voters. Secondly, the BJP can not afford to lose Janata Dal (United), a major NDA partner, at this point of time.