Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has rubbed former chief minister of the state Lalu Prasad Yadav the wrong way again. The latest irritant is Nitish's support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to identify benami properties held by different individuals and groups in different parts of the country.
Significantly, the support has come close on the heels of Lalu's attack on Modi for demonetising high currency notes and comparing him with comic character Uncle Podger. This is not the first time that he has hit him. He has been his and his party's (BJP) worst critic since ages.
In this light his anti-Modi statement is not attention- catching but Nitish's statement is. It catches attention also because he has made it knowing full well his hate for Modi. It is noteworthy for another reason too that Nitish has already praised Modi for his actions against black- money holders.
For some BJP leader it is not difficult to understand for Nitish has formed government with the party in the past after his honey-moon with Lalu. But for others it is not easy to digest. All kinds of speculations are being made in the light of this development.
One of them is that Nitish may come more closer to the BJP in months to come , increasing his distance from Lalu. As far as the latter is concerned he has divergent views on many other issues. Lalu cannot appreciate some of the actions taken against his protege including mafia don Shahabuddin, rape accused Raj Bhallabh Yadav and party MLC Manorama Devi.
Two of them were granted bails by the high court which was challenged in the Supreme Court at the behest of Nitish to the chagrin of Lalu. Both have gone back to jail to the happiness of Laulu baiters. Nitish and his party ( JD-U) cannot do anything else because they have a different type of reputation which they would not like to be sullied. Lalu's predicament is that he cannot dump such people who have been backing him to the hilt right from his early days when he was a small-time leader.