We are probably all familiar with some version of the old Hindi saying : “Kutte ki dum kabhi seedhi nahin hoti” (No matter how much you try, you cannot straighten a dog’s tail).
In Bihar, we have not one, but two old dogs with their tails entangled with each other, both sticking to their habits of a lifetime.
Now, I would normally have apologized for using a dog analogy with regard to two of Bihar’s tallest leaders. But in this era of “free speech”, dog analogies are suddenly in great demand. Secular parties are going out of the way to showcase how much they don’t mind if someone depicts them as dogs. So, I am sure they won’t mind me speaking thus.
One dog cannot stop stealing. It is the only thing that dog knows. It is everything that dog has ever done in his life. No matter what the situation or what the stakes, that dog will steal.
The other dog has a different problem. This dog is a habitual betrayer of friends. It has no sense of loyalty and always bites the hand that feeds him. Oops… I notice the irony of the dog analogy. I’ll stop doing it now.
The inevitable is unfolding in Bihar … finally.
Not surprisingly, the RJD has found itself neck deep in corruption. And Nitish Kumar was just looking for an opportunity to betray his new friends.
I was actually wondering what took Nitish Kumar so long. It’s been almost four years since Nitish Kumar betrayed one set of friends. He must have been itching to betray his other set of friends.
So now Nitish Kumar wants Lalu’s son Tejaswi out of the Deputy CM post and out of the ministry. Why? Because corruption.
Yeah… as if Nitish Kumar did not know about Lalu Yadav’s corruption when he went to them in 2014 and fell at their feet.
And now… we have this drama with Nitish demanding that Tejaswi should step down. Why is Nitish Kumar acting so surprised?
And more importantly, what is this drama of asking for Tejaswi’s resignation? When Nitish needed to get rid of BJP, he simply sacked Sushil Modi, his Deputy CM and Cabinet colleague for 8 years. He didn’t wait for Sushil Modi to resign.
Has Nitish forgotten that he has the option of simply sacking Tejaswi from his ministry? He was never shy to use that option before when he was acting out of jealousy towards Narendra Modi in 2013. Why is he so shy to exercise that option in a clear cut corruption case against this Deputy CM?
Because of course … convenience. Back in 2013, Nitish Kumar had a solid assurance of backing from 10 Janpath for the survival of his government. He has no such assurance now from the BJP. So now, Bihar’s Mr. Clean goes on this song and dance routine of demanding that Tejaswi Yadav should resign.
The BJP has reason to smile here, but it is still a mixed bag for them. On the one hand, the continuous strikes on the RJD have successfully opened up all the fissures in the Mahagathbandhan. But I am worried that the BJP might overplay its hand by losing patience.
The worst mistake that the BJP can make here is to support the JDU to form a government. At the peak of the Prime Minister’s popularity, this would be a terrible let down… an injustice to all BJP karyakartas who have worked to make the party No. 1 in Bihar and an injustice to Modi himself. The BJP’s workers in Bihar haven’t toiled tirelessly to again offer Nitish Kumar the chair on a platter. Not to mention that Nitish Kumar will betray BJP again, as soon as the weather changes.
Not more than a year ago, I think it was Nitish Kumar who gave a clarion call for “RSS mukt Bharat”. Today, he has conveniently forgotten that all the BJP’s top leaders come from RSS. Someone remind him please.
The BJP needs to fight this temptation to join Nitish Kumar’s government. The one thing they must realize is that Nitish is NOT going to throw his government away and go for fresh elections. The RJD is even worse prepared for elections. No matter how many insults Nitish Kumar throws their way, they can’t walk out.
So, this Mahagathbandhan government is here to stay in Bihar till 2020 unless the BJP interferes and makes an offer to Nitish Kumar.
And THAT is the best option for BJP. To wait until 2019. Let RJD and JDU keep fighting. The worst that Lalu can do is pull his ministers out of the government, which will only deepen the squabbling in the ruling coalition. Let this tug of war go on for 3 more years, after which the people will automatically put them out of their misery by electing a BJP government with a full majority.
In the meanwhile, the BJP can even try to use the example of the Bihar coalition debacle to tell voters elsewhere in the country not to believe in the various secular mahagathbandhans that are springing up. Especially in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has waited very long and worked very hard to come to power in Bihar. The state of Bihar has special significance, because Bihar is the core of Mandal politics, the politics that tore Hindus apart on the basis of caste. A BJP Chief Minister in Bihar will bring Mandal politics to an official conclusion. It’s within reach in just 3 years if they are patient.