Nadda’s regional parties remark a rallying point for JD(U), RJD: Experts

Updated on Aug 11, 2022 05:01 AM IST

On Wednesday, JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar chief minister for the eighth time, with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as his deputy, a day after the JD(U) severed ties with the BJP and staked claim to lead state’s Grand Alliance, or Mahagathbandhan, along with the RJD, the Congress and smaller allies.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav during the oath taking oath, at Raj Bhavan in Patna, Wednesday, August 10, 2022. (PTI Photo)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav during the oath taking oath, at Raj Bhavan in Patna, Wednesday, August 10, 2022. (PTI Photo)
By, Patna

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda’s recent remarks questioning the future of regional and dynastic parties became a rallying point for state parties such as the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) to come together ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, political observers said.

On Wednesday, JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar chief minister for the eighth time, with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as his deputy, a day after the JD(U) severed ties with the BJP and staked claim to lead state’s Grand Alliance, or Mahagathbandhan, along with the RJD, the Congress and smaller allies.

Addressing a party meeting in Patna on July 31, BJP chief Nadda had asserted that no party could fight against the BJP at the national level. He had further claimed that all other political parties barring the BJP will be destroyed. “In the times to come, only an ideology-driven party like the BJP will survive, while others ruled by families would perish. In Uttar Pradesh, BJP fought against dynastic politics. In Bihar, RJD symbolises the same. Congress has also been reduced to Bhai-Behan ki party (brother-sister’s party),” Nadda had said.

Nadda’s remarks on the future of regional and dynastic parties acted as a catalyst for the JD(U) and RJD to come together at a time when leaders of the two NDA partners in Bihar were constantly sparring over several issues, political observers said.

While the BJP chief’s statement was not the only issue that led to the end of NDA government in Bihar, but it appeared to have provided a plausible reason for the JD(U) to walk out of the NDA, political observers said.

“It alarmed the regional parties. Bihar is a politically conscious state and people here read politics in every political statement,” said Gyanendra Yadav, associate professor of sociology, College of Commerce, Patna. “Nadda’s statement added as a catalyst to already volatile relations between the BJP and the JD(U). I see it as a (BJP’s) self-goal.”

Sanjay Sinha, professor of English, Patna University, said: “This could be one of the reasons. It is wrong to demean the importance of regional parties as national parties in several states bank on them...It is also obvious that regional/state parties will be alarmed with such statements.”

“In Bihar, the ground work for separation seems to have started a couple of months back,” he added.

Nadda’s comments evoked sharp reactions initially from the RJD and later JD(U) also took a serious note of the same. Questioning Nadda’s concept of ideology, RJD’s Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha said: “Only brazen arrogance can make people make a statement like what the BJP national president has made.”

State JD(U) president Umesh Kushwaha, too, pointed out at “BJP’s arrogance”. “They want to finish regional parties,” he told reporters day after Nadda’s remarks.

A senior BJP defended Nadda while accepting that the party chief’s statement was “ill-timed”.

“He (Nadda) was misunderstood and misinterpreted. He was speaking about parties without any ideology. He never spoke about the JD(U),” said the leader, requesting anonymity. “In fact, PM (Narendra) Modi described late Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia and George Fernandes, besides Nitish Kumar, as true socialists, who refrained from setting up their own political dynasties.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vijay is chief of bureau, Patna. He has spent 21 years in journalism and covers political beats and public affairs.

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