Amit Shah has made it clear that the JDU supremo, Nitish Kumar will remain the Chief Minister of the state after the Bihar legislative assembly polls next year. In an interview to News18, Shah said, “The Janata Dal (United) and the BJP will go to polls together and we will fight polls under the leadership of Nitish ji. This is absolutely clear.”
It must be noted that Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s performance in the recent past has been rather mediocre and has failed to inspire much confidence.
This year, Nitish Kumar-led government’s inefficiency to tackle critical issues has come to the surface time and again. The Japanese Encephalitis outbreak that claimed the lives of several children exposed the ineptness of the health system in the state. Then the floods causing widespread devastation in the state, once again brought the Nitish government under the scanner for its inefficient handling of the emergent situation. Now, with yet another imminent crisis in the form of a Dengue outbreak in the State capital, Patna, the state administration’s ability to deal with crisis has come up yet again.
It is in this background that the JD (U) wanted to push the ‘Theeke to hai Nitish Kumar (Nitish Kumar is alright)’ slogan. The state is being governed inefficiently and with this slogan it has become clear that we can’t really expect the Nitish Kumar led government to make amends. The BJP by persisting with Nitish Kumar has clearly lost the plot.
Nitish Kumar will go down as one of the most “opportunistic” politicians in the history of independent India. Nitish has switched his allegiances a number of times in the recent past and from severing JDU’s 17-year-old ties with the BJP in 2014 to joining the Mahagathbandhan to finally making a U-turn and returning to NDA’s fold, no one knows where Nitish’s true allegiances lie but one thing is for sure, Nitish Kumar cares little about anything else except his obsession to remain in the corridors of power.
Nitish Kumar has earlier shown his true colours ever since the re-election of Prime Minister Modi. Be it the refusal of joining the Union Council of Ministers or contradicting NDA’s stance on Triple Talaq and Article 370, it seems Nitish Kumar is on the cusp of committing a political suicide of sorts. Nitish Kumar has completely failed to effectively administer Bihar in the wake of the recent floods and the encephalitis outbreak which resulted in over 100 infant mortalities.
The recent Bihar floods affected more than 69 lakh people and more than 100 casualties. A report by International Water Management Institute (IWMI) had also pointed out that 73 % of the 94,163 sq km area gets flooded every year something which Nitish has failed to check despite the annual occurrence of floods which resulted in gross inconvenience to its citizens and there were reports of citizens being forced to eat rats as a means of survival.
The encephalitis outbreak exposed the poor infrastructure and medicinal services in the state of Bihar as hospitals were running out of beds in Muzaffarpur due to rising cases of encephalitis.
Nitish through years of deft political manoeuvring had managed to position himself as ‘Sushasan Babu’ as a counter against the Jungle Raj practised by Lalu Prasad Yadav led RJD. His image as the ‘Sushasan Babu’ of Bihar stands severely battered after his government’s inept handling of the twin tragedies.
There’s a huge political vacuum in the state of Bihar. The party has absolutely nothing to showcase in terms of achievements as the state has lagged even in Centre’s flagship schemes such as PM Awas Yojana and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREA).
BJP would be better advised to dump Nitish at the earliest and attempt to form the government on its own in Bihar. The BJP must act swiftly and seize this opportunity and deliver good governance in the truest form in Bihar. But for that to happen, BJP must project a face which is credible enough to take on Nitish Kumar.