In the last few months, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has emerged as one of the most powerful forces as far as the leader of the opposition is concerned in Bihar. Much like Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra, he is probably the only leader of the opposition in the state who has lately become more popular than sitting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The protest against the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021 has put Nitish Kumar on the backfoot. All the media coverage, so far, has been in support of Tejashwi Yadav, and, Nitish Kumar, despite his media management experience of more than a decade, is not being to do anything about it.
“Draconian Act which will give absolute powers to police, so that it can act as veritable arm of Nitish’s dictatorial politics, has been passed in police protection by throwing out battered MLAs using police itself,” tweeted Yadav.
Draconian Act which will give absolute powers to Police,so that it can act as veritable arm of Nitish's dictatorial politics, has been passed in police protection by throwing out battered MLAs using Police itself.
See how Police is blocking our MLAs inside the house. Shameless! pic.twitter.com/EnUNg5GsWM
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) March 24, 2021
The RJD, as a party, has also been very vocal about the protest against the act. “My revolutionary fellow MLA, Satish Das, who belongs to a poor family, became a victim of hooliganism of Nitish Kumar. He suffered a head injury. The picture is proof,” Tejashwi Yadav tweeted, sharing an image of an RJD MLA being carried on a stretcher.
There is anti-incumbency in Bihar, not against BJP, not even against JD(U), but against Nitish Kumar, given he has already been on the CM chair for almost 15 years. Nitish Kumar, as the CM, is making the BJP-JD(U) alliance unpopular because he cannot compete against the youthful leadership of Tejashwi Yadav. Despite all his flaws, Yadav is more popular among the youth of Bihar than Nitish Kumar.
BJP must realise this and appoint its own Chief Minister in Bihar given the fact that Nitish Kumar is already trying to cut the party to size with the alliance with people like Kushwaha. The BJP must appoint a youth CM in Bihar, replacing Nitish Kumar to ensure that Tejashwi Yadav does not rout it in the next assembly election. And, given his current popularity and anti-incumbency against Kumar, he is expected to do the same.
Nitish Kumar has also held the expansion of the cabinet on hold due to a dispute over the ministerial berth. JD(U) had elected only 43 MLAs to the state assembly, as compared to BJP’s 74 MLAs. Logically, one should assume that the cabinet expansion should be in accordance with the number of MLAs elected to the assembly. However, Nitish Kumar unfairly insisted on a 50-50 division. Now, the Chief Minister wants JD(U) and BJP to get 17 ministerial posts each and HAM(S) and VIP to get one seat each. BJP, on the other hand, wants more seats in the cabinet, which is unacceptable to Nitish.
Given the fact that Nitish Kumar cannot compete with Tejashwi Yadav in terms of gaining popularity in the state, a BJP CM in Bihar is the need of the hour. If BJP wants to stay relevant till the next elections in Bihar, it must appoint its own CM.