With Prime Minister Narendra Modi kickstarting the campaign in Muzzaffarpur for the upcoming Bihar assembly elections, sparks were expected to fly. Campaigner Modi did not hold back his punches and launched a blistering offensive against Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar. In his political speech, he taunted Nitish Kumar’s “political DNA” of abandoning partners like George Fernandes, BJP and Jitan Ram Manjhi. Nitish Kumar has taken the bait, has extrapolated this to Bihar’s DNA and is now playing the “Bihari Asmita” card. By going this way, Nitish is employing the same tactics used by one CM Narendra Modi in Gujarat.
Here are the reasons why I believe Nitish will have a tough time defending the DNA barb:
- It is common knowledge now that Nitish had gone begging to Sonia Gandhi to accept him as the CM candidate of the secular alliance. A man whose political emergence and survival was built on anti-Congress platform – going back to Congress for help is indeed an insult to the “JP Narayan DNA”
- Nitish going back to seek support of his bete-noir and a convicted criminal Lalu Yadav to counter BJP’s emergence in Bihar is indeed due to some defect in Nitish’s “ethical DNA”
- Ever since his election as CM of Bihar in 2005, Nitish has been seeking “special status” for Bihar. His current friend, Sonia Gandhi, did not grant him that wish. In spite of this snub, if one has to go begging to Congress, it is surely a chemical locha in Nitish’s “political DNA”. Nitish himself stated that UPA government’s decisions were a “betrayal with backward states like Bihar”. How will he justify it now?
- Ignoring security apparatus during the last year’s election campaign, when Modi was in Patna – and multiple bombs exploded at Gandhi Maidan is another example of problem in Nitish’s “political DNA”. Politics can be very nauseating – but it was Nitish, who turned it into a bloodsport.
- It is a norm to send a state’s tableau for the annual Republic Day parade. Nitish Kumar, who now claims to play-up his Bihari credentials, did not bother send a tableau for the Republic Day in 2014. This proves that Nitish’s claims are hollow and he does not put money where his mouth is. Another reason why Nitish is a bad ambassador of “Bihari DNA”.
- If not sending a tableau was not enough, Nitish Kumar did not recommend any names for the Padma Shree, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards from Bihar in 2014. Did he decide that Bihar does not have any achievers? Can anyone truly say that he represents the “Bihari DNA”?
- When eight bombs went off at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya in 2013, Nitish Kumar had ignored intelligence inputs about the impending attack. His lack of interest in putting the security of the state on priority is a defect in his “administrative DNA”. In fact, in comedy of sorts, Lalu’s RJD had protested against Nitish for this lapse.
- Nitish Kumar claims that law and order situation improved during his tenure as CM. There are some reports to support his claim. But, at the same time, naxals and the Indian Mujahideen gained ground in Bihar – and this was stated by the then Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. Are these outfits now part of Nitish’s brigade? This is akin to applying band-aid to a wound and cutting a leg at the same time. Again, something seriously wrong with his “administrative DNA”.
- During Kejriwal’s first tenure as CM of Delhi, he started a tamasha called “janta darbar“. Nitish was quick to claim HE was the first to start the idea in Bihar – just to mock the failure of Kejriwal to successfully carry out this event. Well, ever since May 2014, Nitish has not had a single darbar. Are his darbars only political results dependent? And now Nitish-Kejriwal combo will campaign on “good administration” platform with – Lalu Yadav. LOL.
- When Nitish Kumar started his Adhikar Yatra in 2012 to request funds from the Center, it was hailed as a game changer by cronies. Alas, this yatra became a platform for people to vent their frustrations against the state government. Why would Biharis shout against you if you were governing well, Mr Kumar? People of Bihar had decided back then that your “governance DNA” was faulty.
- When Ishrat Jahan was declared a terrorist, Nitish called her “Bihar’s daughter”. So much for muslim appeasement that Nitish began to own terrorists. This would never have happened if his “secular DNA” was not flawed. All this when Nitish himself flagged off LK Advani’s rath yatra in 2011.
- In order to further boost his secular credentials, Nitish made an all expense paid trip in 2012 to Pakistan too. When India has been trying to get the World to declare Pakistan as a terrorist state, here was Nitish going to Pakistan for personal agenda. What did he achieve by this visit? ZILCH. NULL. CIPHER. One can go ahead and question his “Indian DNA” too.
Nitish Kumar will resort to the usual victimhood game now. He will try to shore up support of Biharis, lying to them that PM Modi has insulted all of Bihar. He will surely get media space, as these are the same people who had once extolled him as the next Prime Minister. Amidst all this, Nitish will soon forget the agenda he set out for his campaign – Bihar’s development. Modi has, for now, successfully diverted Nitish’s mind away from development and hurt his ego. It is for Nitish to prove whether he can do a fine balancing act or trip to failure. Modi may well be saying to himself DND (Do Not Disturb) for now – Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
Global Citizen, Kannada roots, Indian values, Man United spirit, Fiscal conservative