Is the Nitish-BJP relationship slowly souring?
A day after Nitish Kumar skipped the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Ministers addressed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, there is talk in political circles that all is not well in the Bihar NDA in view of new bonhomie seen emerging between the Chief Minister and the RJD at Iftar programmes.Author : Rakesh Behal
The BJP is cautious, so is Congress which is in an alliance with the RJD.
Congress sources say that the party is watching the situation but will only react something if and after Nitish Kumar takes some decision but also add a rider - that it might be pressure tactics by him.
However, sources in Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United say that there is nothing much to read about in Nitish Kumar's absence and his not going the Delhi doesn't mean that they are parting ways and the NDA government is stable and intact.
There was some speculation in Patna that Nitish Kumar might be put forth as the Vice President candidate but the JDU leader has rejected this.
Since, the BJP is the single largest party in the NDA, there is said to be internal pressure from it to replace the Chief Minister, which has not gone down well with Nitish Kumar. In wake of this, Nitish Kumar attended the iftar party of the RJD and took stand contrary to the BJP on loudspeaker row.
Since the, the political distance between Nitish Kumar and Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav is seen as reducing as both met three times in last ten days - all at iftar parties in Patna - the RJD's iftar at former CM Rabri Devi's residence on April 22, at the JD-U's own on last Thursday, and then at the residence of former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday.
The effect of the three meetings is reflecting on the statements of Tejashwi Yadav and Nitish Kumar. The former, instead of targeting Nitish Kumar directly as earlier, is now blaming the Narendra Modi government, and focussing only those issues where the ideology and stand of Nitish Kumar do not match with the BJP.