Patna,(BiharTimes): It is not just over the issue of Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi, that the Janata Dal (United) strongly disagrees with its senior alliance partner, the BJP.
By openly throwing its weight behind the Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, when the UPA partner like Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is opposing him the Janata Dal (United) has made it amply clear that it is no more going to toe the line of the BJP, which in itve lf is a divided house. Both the JD(U) and Trinamool have 20 MPs in Lok Sabha.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is well aware that notwithstanding all the criticism of Congress-led UPA in the media the truth is that the BJP, the main opposition, is in complete disarray and in no position to pose any big challenge to the government in the near future.
Besides, Pranab Mukherjee has always been soft towards Nitish Kumar. It is also said that it was he, who played an important role in the break of RJD-Congress alliance in 2009, which ultimately led to the rout of Lalu Yadav in the Lok Sabha election that year and in the Assembly election a year later.
Former bureaucrat-turned-Rajya Sabha MP of Janata Dal (United) N K Singh has a good connection in the Finance Ministry and had worked with the deputy chairman of Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia. So in public the NDA government of Bihar may have a hell lot of complaints against the Centre yet the truth is that it agrees that the Union Finance Ministry was far too generous towards Bihar. That was not the case when Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi were the chief ministers of Bihar.
Not only that. It is said that Pranab Mukherjee had personally obliged the Janata Dal (United) leadership in Bihar a couple of months back.
Thus it was a high time for Nitish Kumar to pay him back. He is aware of the growing irrelevance of the BJP in national politics. What is strange is that the most trusted alliance partner of the NDA, Shiv Sena, did not even send its representative to attend the meeting in Lal Krishna Advani’s house on Sunday to discuss the candidate for the post of president.
What is even more shocking is that senior BJP leader like Ram Jethmalani is bent upon contesting the election while Sangh Parivar leader, Mohan Bhagwat, openly praised A P J Abdul Kalam, at the time when Mamata is rooting for him. So it is a bit chaotic scene within the BJP or Sangh Parivar. Interestingly, while all the chief ministers are playing their cards the big-mouthed Narendra Modi is silent on the issue.
The Janata Dal (United) is not going to break away from the BJP tomorrow or a day after. But the way it is taking independent line in the recent past––be it the UP Assembly election, celebrating Bihar Diwas or opting for Pranab Mukherjee––all these move suggest that it is certainly drifting away from the saffron brigade.