Yesterday, the seat sharing formula between Bhartiya Janta Party and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) was decided. Nitish will contest 122 seats and BJP one less i.e. 121 seats. This arrangement gives Nitish Kumar a unique opportunity to pull another Uddhav Thackeray like stunt in Bihar too.
In the past few months, we have seen the allies of BJP not being happy with it. Some of them left the NDA to join the opposition. Nitish Kumar is weighing a similar chance. He had many disagreements with the BJP on variety of issues, and he has been very vocal about it too. But it was clear that after breaking his ties with Congress and RJD if he bid adieu to his second marriage then the outcome would be nothing less than a re-election. Just to complete the full term both the allies have kept mum on variety of issues.
Advantages of Hotel Kamal
Post elections if the JD (U) manages to win at least 90 seats out of their 122 allot seats then CM Nitish Kumar can declare himself ‘available to other options’ if BJP is in a lot weaker position, say 60-80 seats. However, the possibility of him doing so currently looks bleak for two reasons. One, the central leadership of BJP has not interfered with any of CM’s decisions and even allowed him to pass a resolution in Bihar assembly against Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC. Second, the central government has been financially and administratively supportive to policy decisions taken by Nitish Kumar and aligned the central government projects to Bihar elections which is already helping Nitish Kumar.
OTHER SIDE HAS NOTHING TO OFFER
The other side, which is a coalition of two headless parties and some smaller ‘let us in’ parties. It also has a lot of tussle for the CM chair and much more complexity on the cabinet berth distribution. In short, hoping to the other side offers very little and takes away a lot which is being offered on the current side to Nitish. Only the miracle of Congress and RJD offering Nitish an unconditional CM seat with the same unconditional non-interference can change the circumstance. This seems next to impossible. Thus, Nitish Kumar’s stay in Hotel Kamal will be extended by 5 years unless something seriously changes, but even if it does, Nitish still WINS.
Bharat Bhagya Vidhata