The Bihar election results came-in 10 days ago and BJP, spearheading the NDA this time around is showing ‘who is the boss’ to Nitish Kumar and his JDU. The newly-appointed education minister of Bihar Mewalal Choudhary, on Thursday, resigned three days after taking the oath and mere hours after taking the charge of the ministry.
The JDU leader has been embroiled in a corruption case and BJP central leadership found it a reason enough to dump Mewalal. A criminal case was filed against the MLA from Tarapur back in 2017 after allegations that he was involved in irregularities in the appointments to posts of assistant professor and junior scientists as the vice-chancellor of Bihar Agriculture University, Bhagalpur came into the light. He was suspended from the party for a while after jibes from the BJP, which was in the opposition at the time. However, as is the case with most Bihar politicians, Chaudhary was taken back in the JD(U) folds by Nitish Kumar, rather surreptitiously.
Consequently, the sacking of Mewalal Choudhary should be seen as another warning sign for ‘Sushasan Babu’. The message is clear as chalk and cheese—the strings of Bihar politics will now be pulled by the BJP high command and the 4-time CM would have to pay heed to those demands as his CM chair is already running on borrowed times.
BJP clearly doesn’t want leaders who have been embroiled in corruption cases to take over the important posts and if a convicted felon like Lalu Yadav and his coterie of RJD supporters can fling mud on a newly appointed cabinet minister then it is better to take him off and start with a clean slate.
तेजस्वी जहाँ पहली कैबिनेट में पहली कलम से 10 लाख नौकरियाँ देने को प्रतिबद्ध था वहीं नीतीश ने पहली कैबिनेट में नियुक्ति घोटाला करने वाले मेवालाल को मंत्री बना अपनी प्राथमिकता बता दिया।
विडंबना देखिए जो भाजपाई कल तक मेवालाल को खोज रहे थे आज मेवा मिलने पर मौन धारण किए हैं। https://t.co/armjAXpwR4
— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) November 18, 2020
Mewalal was one of the initial preferred choices of Nitish Kumar and it gives a glimpse of how he had muscled his way through the previous NDA alliance when BJP had the numbers in minority.
Last Sunday, BJP had dropped Sushil Modi as leader of its legislature group in Patna, and on Monday Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi took over the post of Deputy Chief Ministers by taking oath alongside Nitish Kumar. The change of pecking order by BJP was a carefully crafted strategy to break the unholy nexus between Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi that paralyzed Bihar for several years, and if left unchecked, would have done damage reminiscent of the infamous Lalu Yadav era of ‘Jungle Raj’.
The BJP high-command has destroyed the ‘access of convenience’ that both Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi had brokered amongst themselves. The two old leaders had a symbiotic relationship where both fed each other and ensured that the status quo was maintained in the state.
The Assembly elections had nearly gone into the hands of the Mahagathbandhan alliance and if it wasn’t for the central leadership of BJP which swooped-in at the last time, the final tally could have been much different. BJP’s high-profile leaders including PM Narendra Modi himself ensured that NDA recovered in the last two phases of the elections after receiving a hammering in the first phase.