UP verdict may compel Nitish, Lalu to redraw their political strategy
Patna,(BiharTimes): Whether disgruntled RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh is right or not in saying that Nitish Kumar indirectly helped the BJP in UP by not putting up JD(U) candidates, it is a fact that Bihar chief minister remained aloof and away from the Assembly election there.
This is a bit surprising as before the announcement of election in that state he made several trips to that state, especially to launch his prohibition drive.
In contrast RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is not in the best of health, did campaign in several constituencies of east and west Uttar Pradeesh. The reason is not just personal––Lalu’s daughters are married in that state––but political too.
One of his son-in-laws, Rahul Yadav, had unsuccessfully contested the election from one of the constituencies in west UP. Lalu campaigned for him.
His youngest son-in-law, Tej Pratap, who is grand nephew of Mulayam Singh Yadav, is a Samajwadi Party MP.
Lalu addressed several election meetings in the districts adjoining Bihar. He had predicted a big win of Akhilesh Singh Yadav, but the result proved him wrong.
Though Lalu has no prime ministerial ambition left––legally he can not even dream of it as he is a convicted politician––Nitish still nurses such hope.
The defeat in UP has certainly reduced the bargaining position of both Akhilesh Yadav as well as Rahul Gandhi.
Nitish may not join hands with the BJP once again but he may be pleased by this development in UP. Though it is also true that Nitish, on his own, is no mass leader and do not enjoy the mass support of any particular caste, yet he is trying his level best to emerge as consensus choice of the non-BJP, non-Congress parties. Recently, he met his Odisha counterpart, Naveen Patnaik, when he was in Bhubaneswar to attend the last rites of former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray.
But Nitish’s path is not so smooth. His party Janata Dal (United) could win only two seats when it contested 2014 Lok Sabha election alone.
Even in the 2015 Assembly election it could win only 71 seats against 80 by RJD though both the parties contested 101 seats each.
All these political speculations, however, are going on when there is, at least for now, no vacancy for the post of prime minister.
Anyway the UP results have compelled both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad to redraw their own future course of action.