Bharat Bandh called by opposition has got mixed reaction
New Delhi: The opposition is divided on the Bandh call issue as at least two prominent leaders, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, have openly opposed it. Some of them on Monday even changed the nomenclature . Of the two, the former has even openly supported the demonetisation which was the main reason behind the call.
His case stands out as he is leading a coalition and two of the coalition partners have minced no words in opposing the move. The Bhartiya Janta Party, particularly its president, Amit Shah, is enjoying the situation. He has publicly lauded Nitish who was at one time a party's coalition partner.
Shah was not as vocal in the beginning but as Nitish has also backed some of the other moves of the central government led by the party he has made his happiness known. It cannot be appreciated by his present partners in Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janta Dal and the Congress.
Lalu, in fact, has been so upset that he has even discussed the issue with some Congress leaders. If some newspaper reports are to be believed, Lalu has also talked to party president Sonia Gandhi in this regard. This is likely to widen the rift between Lalu and Nitish.
Much importance is being attached to the development because this is not the first time that the two have expressed divergent views. On some other issues too including prohibition they have not been on the same page. In the past also they had crossed path. Once close Nitish had become Lalu's enemy number one when he joined hands with the BJP. Where all this will lead should be best left to conjecture at present.
Besides Nitish, Mayawati has not backed the Bandh. West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee has reservation too but for a different reason--- because it was called by left parties , in addition to some others, with whom she has nothing in common. For these and some other reasons the Bandh has not been successful in many parts of the country. By and large it has been peaceful.
What is most interesting is that Mayawati and some other prominent leaders are opposed to black-money holders but do not support demonetisation which is directed against them.