The PM ambitions in Mr. Kumar haven’t died. He is now dreaming of a Sangh Mukt Bharat. His speech yesterday, where he urged every outfit ideologically opposed to the BJP and RSS to assemble under a common non-Sanghi umbrella is a testimonial of his ambitions. Needless to say, who’ll hold the umbrella? This is what he said:
“The country is heading towards a bipolar political divide with BJP-RSS on one side and the rest on the other. All the organizations which do not identify with BJP/RSS communal politics will have to come under one banner to save our democracy. We need to create a Sangh Mukt Bharat ”.
Source: Indian Express
Nitish Kumar can give all political freebooters a run for their money. When Nitish Kumar was shown the doors by Lalu in early Nineties and when his own political party Samata Party couldn’t achieve much, he quietly joined the NDA. When the Godhra Train Massacre and the Gujarat riots took place, the oh-so-moral Nitish Kumar didn’t take a stand. He didn’t join any of BJP inner circles and tried striking a chord with all of them.
After the Gujarat riots, Mr. Nitish Kumar the custodian of all minority rights in India, went ahead with his exaltation of Narendra Modi. When Bihar started appearing on positive news feeds, he hogged all the credits and limelight.
It was when Narendra Modi was projected by the Modi faction as the prospective PM candidate, Nitish Kumar changed his colors all of a sudden. He discarded Modi as a spring fruit and he was convinced that it was Advani who was ultimately going to be the PM candidate. He was also sure, that the electorates will give a fractured mandate in the 2014 General elections which will make allies more crucial than ever. A clean man, a man of few words and a leader who scrubbed the filthiest state of India clean, could have been the binding force for all NDA allies. But alas, things didn’t go as expected. Modi came, Modi saw and Modi conquered.
Dreaming about Sangh Mukt Bharat and making it a reality are two different things. Apart from the apparent desperation, is Nitish Kumar even fit to consider himself a PM Candidate? Here are some numbers for a quick reference which puncture a huge hole in his ‘Bihar Model’, a theory invented and popularized by the anti-Modi foyer in the press and media to take on the “Gujarat Model” theory. After BJP was unceremoniously dumped from a democratically elected coalition in Bihar, the following changes occurred:
Bihar’s economic growth fell from 15.05 per cent in 2012-13 to 8.82 per cent in 2013-14. That’s a drop of 6.63% in a year. Bihar was the fastest growing state with its gross state domestic product growing at 14.15 per cent before falling to about 9 per cent. That’s a drop of 5.15% in a year. Investment proposals received fell from Rs 20,000 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 2,290 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 657 crore in 2014. Let us not even get into the numbers here. There has been a 21 per cent rise in rape cases and a 16 per cent rise in kidnapping cases from 2012 to 2013. Number of Communal incidents rose from 9,768 in 2011 to 13,566 in 2014. In 2011-12, 22,575 new school toilets and 1,521 Anganwadi toilets were made, which in 2013-14 fell to 5,076 and 1,437. That’s Sangh Mukt Bihar for you, now imagine a Sangh Mukt Bharat.
People won’t admit, but Nitish Kumar was falsely credited for Bihar’s development. It was the BJP that brought the turnaround in Bihar. The numbers, the sudden decline in progress and the general hopelessness attest this notion. BJP was magnanimous enough to give its junior ally JDU more seats to contest in last assembly elections and even after an impressive show in the elections, it gave Nitish Kumar the chance to become the CM of Bihar. But of course now BJP is a distant third in Bihar Assembly and out of power too. Nitish is CM Again. He is now playing junior partner to Lalu Prasad Yadav, once his arch-nemesis. Lalu’s barely literate sons are holding important portfolios in the state government. Shahabuddin is back as a national executive member of RJD. Kidnappings, Murders and Loots have become mundane affairs in Bihar again.
But his proposition cannot be rejected in its entirety too. The chap has played his cards well. He pitched for reservations in private sector and then of course the total prohibition in Bihar. He is targeting the backwards and women vote-bank to spruce up his image. He successfully reduced Congress to a minor player in Bihar, if Congress is willing to play second fiddle to him on the national level too, he may get an alliance of sorts going. Sangh Mukt Bharat is an impossible target to achieve but BJP needs to be wary of certain things as well. They should stop tormenting the lesser players. The way BJP has been pummeling every big-small party in state elections has made them very desperate. Nitish wishes to capitalize on their fears.
To create a Sangh Mukt Bharat, Nitish Kumar can expect Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee, may be Sharad Pawar too to join his coalition along with Ajit Singh, Marandi, Devegowda, Lalu and some other free loaders but Can Nitish Kumar successfully create an anti-RSS front? Will he be able to convince Left and TMC to join the coalition and if yes, what are the odds of the Left Stalwarts accepting Nitish’s chieftainship? Can Nitish Kumar make Mulayam Singh join his coalition, he has once walked out of one such alliance. And even if he says yes, he’ll become the alliance chief by the virtue of his seniority. No? Does Nitish have enough clout down South to strike a deal with Jayalalitha or Karunanidhi? Or in the west with the Thackrey brothers? Can Nitish Kumar and his so-called-coalition steal Gujarat from BJP? Goa from BJP? Rajasthan from BJP? Defeat the popularity of Shivraj Singh Chouhan in MP or Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh?
And above all can he take on Modi? His popularity ratings have never plummeted. Never. Sangh Mukt Bharat is wishful thinking at its best. As Ghalib puts it “Dil ko bahlane ke liye Ghalib Khayal accha hai”