Crack is visible in grand alliance formed by three parties in Bihar
Patna : The release of protege of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Shahabuddin, from jail and his statement against Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has exposed the chink in the armour of grand alliance in the state. Lalu claims that all is well but it is not, as developments following the statement suggest.
One of the reasons for reaching this conclusion is that the Congress which is one of the constituents of the alliance has gone to the extent of adivising Rashtriya Janta Dal, Lalu’s pocket borough, to pull out, if Nitish does not fit into his scheme of things. And the advice was not given by a small-time leader but the state party unit chief Ashok Chaudhary who is the third major partner in the coalition with 20-odd members.
Lalu is unlikely to do so as he and his family members are deriving most of the benefits of the coalition government. His two sons are ministers and have been offered the most lucrative departments. One of them is number two in the council of ministers, holding deputy chief minister’s position. His close aides too are highly placed.
It was precisely for this reason,perhaps, that he asked his party men to make no pubic comment. But , as in the past, the chance of this advice falling on deaf ears is on the higher side. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, in particular, who has often ignored his advice, is unlikely to heed it this time too.
JD leader's role
The past is a guide in this connection. It was not long ago that he had severely criticised Nitish for imposing total prohibition in the state and asking top police officials to suspend juniors if cases of violation of prohibition are reported from their police station areas.
The attack was more strident following release of the “don”. Singh called Nitish a “dictator” this time. Engineer chief minister, however, might have felt more offended by Shahabuddin’s statement that he was a “ circumstantial chief minister” and that he was not a popular leader like Lalu.
Whatever followed was the result of this statement. Nitish has kept quiet but some of his party men and supporters have not taken it kindly. What annoyed them more is that Lalu himself has not pulled up the criminal-turned –politician. In fact he has defended him by saying that a party man is expected to praise his leader first and others later on.
This is not the first time that Lalu has given the impression that it is not Nitish but he ,who is calling the shots. He had made Nitish toe his line in case of the prohibition policy too. Toddy, a favourite alcoholic drink in Bihar villages, was kept of out of the ambit of prohibition on Lalu’s pressure.
Nitish is known as a no-nonsense man. But he, perhaps, agreed to his suggestion because of the “ coalition dharma”. The question upper most in the light of the recent developments is how long?
Also read: Prohibition takes its toll in Bihar, hooch tragedy claims many lives