“An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again. But one that crumbles from within, that’s dead. Forever.” The quote might be a touch dramatic but it gives out the essence of the article. It has been time and again said that BJP and its fortunes in Bihar rest on taking courageous calls in the wake of the assembly elections that are slated to be held later this year. Anti-incumbency against JDU is building and there is palpable anti-Nitish sentiment in the state and if BJP wants to rise from the shadows of Nitish, it needs to ditch him.
But BJP has a tough competitor in Bihar and it’s not Lalu and his caste politics or for that matter Nitish Kumar, it is Sushil Modi, a BJP leader and finance minister in Nitish Kumar government that is stopping BJP from making inroads in the state.
There is no iota of doubt that Sushil Modi sucks-up to Nitish Kumar and his repulsive charm. Despite being a BJP leader he has pledged his allegiances to Nitish Kumar who has all but certainly given up on his political ambitions in the state and is just going through the motions to keep the façade of a CM.
His pathetic handling of the migrant crisis, divisive remarks on the passing of CAB, last year’s floods, and the baby deaths, the list just goes on and on. But all these incidents have been swept under the rug by none other than Sushil Kumar Modi who is acting up as the last wall of defense that is helping Nitish hold his fort.
While it is expected from Nitish who has a brain-fade every now and then, what has been surprising in all these episodes is the undying fidelity of Sushil Modi towards Kumar.
His duty towards the coalition aside, Sushil Kumar Modi was also given the responsibility to create an independent identity of BJP in the state that is devoid of any influence of Nitish Kumar. Sadly, Sushil Modi has been a huge failure in that department.
The incompetence of Nitish Kumar has disgruntled the NDA ally LJP, which is also part of the ruling alliance in the state. Chirag Paswan, the young dynamic leader of the LJP, has criticized the Bihar government’s handling of the migrant crisis and hinted for a change in state leadership.
बिहार चुनाव में एन०डी०ए० का चेहरा या नेतृत्व कौन करेगा यह फ़ैसला गठबंधन में सबसे बड़े दल भारतीय जनता पार्टी @BJP4India को करना है।बिहार और गठबंधन के हित में जो भी फ़ैसला भाजपा लेगी लोक जनशक्ति पार्टी पूरी तरीक़े से उस फ़ैसले का समर्थन करेगी। pic.twitter.com/eovOj6noAp
— युवा बिहारी चिराग पासवान (@ichiragpaswan) June 6, 2020
But Sushil Modi again spilled water on BJP and its alliance partner LJP’s plan by iterating that Nitish Kumar is the “supreme commander of the alliance” in the state and that he will be the chief ministerial candidate.
Sushil Kumar is BJP’s face in the alliance government and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, and therefore, his stand on any socio-political issue becomes the official stance of BJP. Hence, by blurting out such a statement again, Sushil Kumar has put BJP on the back foot on another contentious issue in Bihar.
The question rises if not Nitish Kumar then who? Does BJP have any face to project? The answer lies in an analogy.
The talent is always there in any party and just like it happens in Congress where the talent can never come to the top because of high-command politics, dynast politics, and centralisation of power, a similar thing is happening with BJP in Bihar.
Sushil Modi is blocking the leaders, both old horses, and the young Turks to take the centre stage. Given the fact Sushil Kumar is not popular among the voters if an independent leader rises as a popular alternative; it will be a threat to Sushil Modi’s position as the tallest leader of BJP in the state.
Therefore to maintain the status quo in the state, as it secures the position of Nitish Kumar as well as of him. Sushil Kumar has showered praise to Nitish even when other state BJP leaders have openly spoken against him.
If BJP wishes to win the state, it must sack Sushil Kumar, and sack him now. Sushil Kumar has done immense damage to BJP’s cause in the state. He is the top leader of BJP in the state since the last one and a half-decade and due to him, the second rung of BJP has not emerged so far in the state. Sushil Modi is a silent yet constant reminder to BJP that its fortunes in the state would not improve till he is kicked-out.