Bihar has always been an epicenter of rugged power politics in India. With alliances forming and dissolving overnight, Bihar politics has been a subject of curiosity for many political analysts. The 2019 general elections also saw this curiosity being transformed into opinions and analysis of several political pundits. Like all the opinions, some stood the test of time while some failed to resonate with the public, nonetheless a single aspect on which consensus can be reached on is surely the rise of JD(U) in Bihar riding on the back of which many are calling tsuNAMO2.0.
The 2014 general elections, which saw Bihar going into a trilateral fight among BJP-JD(U)-RJD, was surely defined by a surge of pro-Modi sentiment in the electorate. With BJP led NDA winning on 31 out of the total 40 parliamentary constituencies in the state. Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) which walked out of the 17-year-old alliance just about a year from the 2014 polls citing ‘basic principles’ just managed to win on 2 seats as compared to 20 in the 2009 general elections. Which again jumped to 17, this general election after JD(U) fought as a part of the NDA.
Despite getting political benefits from the alliance, Nitish Kumar has surely been observant and critical of BJP’s rise in the state. However, as elections are now over these reservations about the BJP are translating into bizarre moves by the JD(U) be it the controversy arising after JD(U) refused to join the Union Cabinet over demands of multiple places in the Union Council of Ministers, the hasty Bihar cabinet expansion or the more recent case of JD(U) Vice President Prashant Kishore working with Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal essentially against The BJP. Nitish Kumar has also pitched for the JD(U) to contest elections independent of the BJP in other states.
Now in another bizarre move, the Bihar Police has begun the process of collecting data and details of all office-bearers of the RSS and its 17 subsidiary organizations in the state. A letter dated 28th May has surfaced, accessed by the Indian Express, in which the Superintendent of Police of the Special Branch has assigned this task to all his deputy superintendents of police and has called on them to report back “within a week”. This is just 2 days before the second Modi administration took oath on 30th May.
“Collect all details, including names, telephone numbers, professions and addresses of all office-bearers of the RSS and 17 other associated and supporting organizations, treating it as most urgent and file the details within a week” the letter read.
Other than the RSS, the special branch sought details about the VHP, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Jagaran Samiti, Dharam Jagran Samanvay Samiti, Hindu Rashtra Sena, Rashtriya Seviks Samiti, Siksha Bharti, Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Durga Vahini, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, Bhartiya Rail Sangh, ABVP, Akhil Bhartiya Shishak Mahasangh, Hindu Mahasabha, Hindu Yuva Vahini and the Hindu Putra Sangh. RSS plays a key role in voter mobilization for the BJP, by targeting RSS Nitish is seemingly targeting to weaken the BJP in the state and consolidate his ground in the event of a split with the BJP, nonetheless this move surely reeks of an attempt to keep the rise of its alliance partner in check.
Nitish who has already been growing insecure since the second Modi administration took over, has been giving out signals of distress within the JD(U). Nitish’s alleged move to map out RSS organizations and its members in a seemingly subversive move is sure to raise eyebrows. Talking to the new Indian express a retired Director General of police said through the Special Branch keeps track of everyone with general queries, this letter contains “a very specific query and it could be for political purposes”.
Nitish Kumar has also been vary of senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nityanand Rai, who can emerge as a possible contender for the CM ‘s post. We at tfipost.com had stated earlier that Rai’s surprise appointment as a Minister of State under Amit Shah was part of a long term strategy to groom him for future roles and effectively replace Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. As such, the insecurity of Nitish about losing his power is clearly evident in this decision which not even BJP’s staunch opposition parties would dare to take.