At a time when politics of opposition has touched new heights in the country, the brewing camaraderie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar paints a picture of hope. For opposition just for the sake of opposition can never be deemed good for the health of democracy in the country. The opposition should appreciate if the government announces a decision that has the potential to benefit people in the long run.
In an ideal situation, the opposition should itself come forward to lend a helping hand in the implementation of the decision and attack the government if it fails to provide adequate resources for the purpose. However, in the last three-four months, the government has been under the opposition radar for everything it has done — be it giving a fitting response to Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism against India, banning high-value currency notes to curb black money and corruption or making efforts to make India a cashless economy.
All good things announced by the government doesn’t always get implemented with 100% efficiency. Reason: All political forces don’t come forward to participate or support the good decision. Parties tend to cite history and, hence, kill the chances of change a good decision can bring to the lives of people. Bihar CM Kumar has emerged as an exception in this regard, and for the good.
Breaking ranks from the supposedly united opposition, Bihar CM Kumar was one of the first opposition leaders who supported demonetisation. Time and again, Kumar has shown he doesn’t compromise on a matter of national interest. So it wasn’t surprising to see both Kumar and Modi praising each other from the same stage on Thursday.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 5, 2017
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 5, 2017
Both leaders met in Patna to celebrate the 350th Prakash Parv of Shri Guru Gobind Singh today. Kumar first went to the airport to receive the PM. This was a customary exercise. But what happened when they shared the stage was pleasantly surprising as shared mutual praise during their speech.
Talking about liquor ban in Bihar, Kumar cited how PM Modi effectively implemented liquor ban as the CM of Gujarat for 12 years. “Bihar government took the decision to impose complete prohibition in the state. This is our tribute to Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) and Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The happiness brought to people’s homes in the state due to liquor ban is something that should be experienced…In Gujarat, prohibition has been imposed since the inception of the state. Our respected Prime Minister was CM for 12 years and he implemented prohibition of liquor very effectively in Gujarat.”
In return, Modi also didn’t sound like a miser in his praise for Kumar. “I congratulate CM Nitish Kumar for his nasha-mukti abhiyan (prohibition). It can save coming generations and act as an inspiration for other states,” Modi said. “I thank CM Nitish Kumar, Bihar government and people of the state for organising this special event. I was told that Nitish ji personally managed the event,” he added.
PM Modi also praised people of Bihar, saying, “We remember the greats who belong to Bihar. People from Bihar have distinguished themselves and served the nation.”
This was not the first time in recent times when PM Modi heaped praise on Kumar. Addressing members of BJP Parliamentary party on December 16, PM Modi had thanked Kumar and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik for their support to demonetisation.
“I am surprised. It would have been good if critics of this government had shown the capability to discuss on issues. We should also note that there are many people, who do not support the ideology of BJP or NDA. Even they have openly supported the government in the fight against black money and corruption,” the PM said.
“I thank Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. I thank Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. There are many people who have openly supported us and that is why I want to move ahead with everyone who has supported us in this fight,” he added.
On Thursday, both Kumar and Modi were seen sharing laughter as well. Parties trying to form a united opposition against ruling BJP at the Centre should be warier now as Modi-Nitish political tie-up looks more likely than ever. Even if such patch-up never happens, they are already allies on matters of national importance.