Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is leading Grand Alliance of circumstances. This is becoming more clearer now than ever as prominent voices from the camp of his biggest ally in the state has started singing a different political dream. On Thursday, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi surprised everyone by claiming that people of the state wanted to see her son Tejashwi Yadav as the CM of the state.
Though Rabri clarified that she was talking in the context of 2020 Assembly elections in the state, her statement reflected what the RJD leaders in the state have been talking for long. Their reason is that RJD commands the most number of seats in the Grand Alliance. It has 80 seats, followed by JD(U) with 71 and 27 of Congress. On February 14, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had also said that his son Tejashwi would become the CM in future.
When such statement comes once, it need not be taken seriously. But when it keeps on coming at a regular interval, it becomes apparent. In Bihar, therefore, there is no doubt that Lalu would go to any length to instal his son as the CM. He may not do it soon. He will wait for the right time, maybe just before the next elections. He will strike and clip the wings of Kumar.
Nitish Kumar has been probably the best Chief Minister Bihar ever got. Before he snapped ties with BJP ahead of the 2015 Assembly elections, Nitish was popular because of his works across the state. But when the time came to bank on his own popularity, Nitish chose to get into an alliance on the basis of an archaic electoral formula to beat former ally — the BJP. Nitish had the opportunity to trash the archaic electoral formula, which has caste and religion as important factors, and win the elections on his own. But then there are times when even great leaders turn myopic. Nitish is not an exception.
However, apart from the compromise he made for retaining the CM post, there has not been any major dent in Nitish’s popularity. He should be advised to walk alone the political path, if he is forced to give way to Lalu’s son, or join hands with old friend BJP. Bihar would need him for a long time.