Ever since the Lok Sabha election of 2014 took place, the political scenario of Bihar has witnessed some interesting twists which are budding into a simmering turmoil. The bid for power in the legislative assembly, essentially the slugfest between the former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the incumbent Jitan Ram Manjhi is heading towards an obfuscated result which might change the fate of Bihar politics forever.
A series of entangled events has baffled ordinary minds especially when pompous events like the big fat Delhi Assembly elections and the fire lit Indo-Pak match in world cup has camouflaged the political race in Bihar. While the mentioned happenings deserve due attention, the lalas of Bihar cannot also be ignored as the Nitish- Manjhi tussle has magnetized central leadership in Delhi too, painting a triptych between BJP, JD(U) and the self styled conqueror Jitan Ram Manjhi.
ET TU BRUTUS?
After JD (U)’s debacle in Lok Sabha election 2014 in which the Modi Wave swiped almost all the seats, Nitish Kumar took the moral responsibility for the fairly poor performance by his party which could manage to muster only two seats out of forty in the state. Playing the caste card to woo the downtrodden sections of society, he appointed his used-to-be aide Manjhi(a musahar dalit) as the Chief Minister. In his stint as the CM of Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjhi left no stone unturned to spark controversies through is amusing political remarks which must have left JD(U) specifically Nitish Kumar dumbstruck. In one of his comments, he pronounced that hoarding and black marketing of goods by local traders will not be considered a crime.Yet another statement flabbergasted people when he admitted paying bribe of Rs. 5000 to electricity officials to get his power bills modified!
Let’s now focus our attention to understand the concealed motives behind this conflict. BJP’s power pact performance in the Lok Sabha election has jeopardized JD (U) which is afraid of BJP’s control even in the approaching election. Fearing defeat and the alleged communal poltics, the JD (U) and RJD have forged an alliance to dam its possible victory in the assembly elections. In a major setback to JD (U), Manjhi is shaping into a bone of contention as at one hand he is refusing to resign and at the other he is consolidating ties with BJP to acquire its support and remain in power. The fight gets three cornered as BJP too is looking this as an opportunity to incorporate Manjhi into its fold and prove a majority in the house.
The zealous tug of war is taking an interesting turn as the JD (U) hails support, Manjhi doesn’t bow and BJP remains ambiguous in its stand. The following possibilities might be true:
- THE WOULD BE BAAZIGAR
Presently in the 233 member assembly, 117 trust votes are required to prove the majority. Showing his kickass power, JD (U) supremo Nitish Kumar in a first move marched with 128 MLAs to the president claiming support meanwhile expelling Manjhi from the party and is looking forward to acquiring his seat once again what BJP leaders described as his “lust for power.” If everything remains intact, we would once again see him acceding to the throne like a glowing bazigar.
- NA GHAR KA NA GHAT KA SITUATION
Pronouncing the might of his unsinkable boat, “Manjhi ka nav kabhi doobta hai ka?” Jitan Ram Manjhi made very clear that he should not be considered a “rubber stamp” and underestimated by his opponents. It seems he has taken good lessons from his old master as he too enthusiastically played the caste card and appealed a vote of sympathy among the lower sections and managed to win the support of as many as 20 MLAs. He accused Nitish of bossing over him but his fluctuating political career suggest vice versa. Started his journey as a minister in congress government, he jumped to RJD in 1991 becoming the education minister and finally landed in JD (U) to fulfill his power starvation.
In a smartass move, Manjhi is knocking BJP’s door to extract support of 87 MLAs and sustain his valuable kursi. Even if BJP agrees to assist Manjhi, the mathematical calculation of seats is not reaching the desired number of 117. Thus the only possibility that emerges with certainty is Manjhi’s leap in the fourth party for political power which is almost an unprecedented history.
- *WARNING ALERT*
This is the most complex possibility and exemplifies the unhealthy nature of the political arena. Bihar’s governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and Nitish Kumar are engaged in a word war because the JD (U) members are suspicious of the governor’s moves and smelling some alliance with BJP as the former have scheduled the floor test on 20th February, a fairly late date which according to JD (U) would give time to BJP for the “horse trading of MLAs” and creating a situation where no party can prove a majority in the assembly paving way for President rule in Bihar which is an indirect way of centre to control state politics. The recent visit of the incumbent CM and the governor in Delhi for a BJP meeting seems to prove the above allegation.
Bihar is a region of great social contrast. A state with utterly low literacy level has manufactured highest number of civil servants; one of the most agriculturally fertile region witnesses deep rooted poverty. A place which has given birth to great souls of all time such as Gautama Buddha, Ashoka, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and many others is hungry for its all round development but the unending desire for power and privilege seems to have rubbed the sense of deliberate attempt to uplift the nation. Let Nitish strategize, let Manjhi and BJP collaborate, let’s wait for the assembly elections, let’s wait for the power of citizens!
This article is in continuation of another article from our blog; follow the link to read that article: http://economydecoded.com/2015/02/nitish-kumar-vs-manjhi-kissa-kursi-ka.html
Written By- Zainab Rashid
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.