Sachchidanand Jha

Patna : Bihar CM and JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar’s demand for action against Benami property holders soon after extending support to demonetisation announced by PM Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016, caused distrust between him and RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

The chasm between the two major leaders of the Grand Alliance in Bihar has kept widening with each passing events including Income-tax (IT) Departments raids and survey on May 16, 2017, on several locations in Delhi and adjoining areas to probe alleged benami deals worth Rs 1,000 crore  linked to RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s kin  and later JD(U)’s support to NDA’s presidential pick Ram Nath Kovind on June 21, which Lalu described as a `historical blunder’ of Nitish. Soon after the IT raids and surveys, Lalu had congratulated NDA for getting a new partner in Bihar. Ironically, both of them have claimed that the alliance remains intact in Bihar.

Nitish’s refusal to reconsider JD(U)’s stand on presidential poll rejecting appeals from Lalu was a major setback to the RJD chief whose wards are already on IT radar. Lalu’s daughter and Rajya Sabha member Dr Misa Bharti has already been quizzed by the IT sleuths regarding her alleged Benami assets while BPCL has cancelled the licence of petrol pump of his son and Health minister Tej Pratap Yadav though a Patna court has stayed its execution. Senior BJP leader and opposition leader in Bihar legislative council Sushil Kumar Modi has come out with several expose on alleged Benami assets of Lalu’s family members. Lalu is himself facing trial in few fodder scam cases.

All these developments have considerably weakened Lalu’s stranglehold on Grand Alliance government forcing him to bid for his time to launch counter attack on Nitish. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s dislike for him is an open secret. But for Rahul Gandhi, Lalu still would have been in parliamentary politics. But, after its shattering defeat in UP assembly polls, Congress is also not in a position to antagonise Lalu any further.

As of now, Lalu has no option than to keep Nitish is good humour to stop him from joining the NDA. No doubt, the RJD can withdraw support to Nitish government but that would mean going out of power for which the party does not appear ready yet. Congress’ recent attack on Nitish describing him as a man of  many principles have only made things that much difficult for the Grand Alliance government in Bihar.

2 thoughts on “Grand Alliance govt in jeopardy as rift between Nitish & Lalu widens”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *