Bihar switch: Tough days ahead for Nitish as dissenting voices grow louder in JD-U
Twelve heads of state units across the country have asked party founder-president Sharad Yadav to convene a national convention for discussing Nitish Kumar’s “unilateral decision” to align with the BJP after snapping ties with the Grand Alliance in Bihar late last month.Updated: Aug 02, 2017, 13:02 IST
A storm is brewing in the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), and it’s threatening to make the going tough for Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.
As many as 12 presidents of state units across the country have asked party founder-president Sharad Yadav to convene a national convention for discussing Kumar’s “unilateral decision” to align with the BJP after snapping ties with the Grand Alliance in Bihar late last month. Yadav, who has termed Kumar’s decision as “unfortunate and unpleasant”, will begin touring Bihar from August 5 to get inputs from party leaders and workers in this regard.
Later, on August 17, the party founder-president will address a gathering under the Saajhi Viraasat (shared cultural heritage) banner in New Delhi. Political leaders from “like-minded secular parties”, such as the Congress, CPI-M, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, will attend the event.
Yadav, who was marginalised by Kumar over the years, has suddenly found himself representing a powerful voice of dissent within the party. However, he is playing his cards close to his chest for now.
With just a few years to go for the elections to the Lok Sabha and the Bihar assembly, the “anti-Nitish front” in the JD-U is unlikely to take the precipitous decision of quitting the party. “Rebels can do a better job at damaging Nitish’s political prospects if they stay in the party and work against him,” an inside source said.
For now, the rebels are sharpening their knives in anticipation of the JD-U’s national executive meeting called by Kumar on August 19. “The Patna event is likely to witness major fireworks,” the source said.
The presidents of state party units – including those from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal and Rajasthan – have also issued a separate letter to Kumar, describing his decision to align with the saffron party as betrayal of the “people’s mandate in the 2015 assembly election”.
“Even if Nitish did find continuing the alliance with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal unpalatable, he could have resigned and gone for mid-term polls. This decision to join hands with the BJP smacks of treachery,” a party state president told HT.