Call­ing Ni­tish Ku­mar’s res­ig­na­tion from CM post as drama, for­mer Bi­har Deputy CM says BJP doesn’t favour early polls in the state BJP Won’t Do Any­thing to Top­ple JD(U) Govt in Bi­har

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Sushil Ku­mar Modi, the BJP leader who was deputy chief min­is­ter in Bi­har’s Ni­tish Ku­mar govern­ment be­fore the Janata Dal (United) ended its al­liance with BJP, says his party doesn’t favour early polls in the state. Call­ing Ku­mar’s res­ig­na­tion a drama, he tells Ashok Mishra in an in­ter­view that the JD(U) and Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal could join hands be­cause of po­lit­i­cal com­pul­sion. Ex­cerpts. Po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Bi­har re­mains fluid fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Ni­tish Ku­mar. What would you have pre­ferred: an al­ter­na­tive govern­ment or early polls? The BJP is not in favour of early polls, Ni­tish Ku­mar re­signed on his own to de­flect crit­i­cisms within his own party. But the Ni­tish govern­ment would have col­lapsed un­der its own weight due to in­ner con­tra­dic­tions. No JD(U) leg­is­la­tor was in favour of break­ing the 17year-old al­liance with the BJP. For 11 months, Ni­tish Ku­mar could not ex­pand his min­istry and he had to dis­charge the works of 18 de­part­ments. In this elec­tion, he made it look like it was a ref­er­en­dum on his per­for­mance as he claimed “I, I and I” was re­spon­si­ble for the turn­around story of Bi­har. But the party was dec­i­mated, there is strong dis­sent within the party. MLAs have be­come un­sure what their fate will be if they con­tested the as­sem­bly elec­tions un­der the lead­er­ship of Ku­mar. In such a sit­u­a­tion, I don’t think Ku­mar could have run the govern­ment. Bi­har has en­tered into a phase of po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity, no­body is sure what will hap­pen to­mor­row, but the BJP will not do any­thing to desta­bilise the govern­ment. But early polls may go in favour of the BJP which has done ex­ceed­ingly well in the Lok Sabha elec­tions. As I said, we will not do any­thing which will desta­bilise the govern­ment. But if Do you want cen­tral rule in Bi­har? The BJP in prin­ci­ple is op­posed to the idea of im­pos­ing pres­i­dent’s rule . it falls on its own, Bi­har will then go for an early poll. We are pre­pared to face early polls. You had said 50 JD(U) MLAs were in touch with you. Do they want to switch over to the BJP? I had said dur­ing the elec­tions that 50 JD(U) MLAs were sup­port­ing our can­di­dates in dif­fer­ent con­stituen­cies. They were an­gry with Ni­tishji, they It is not for me to de­cide. The par­lia­men­tary board of my party will take a call on this. Do you think Ni­tish Ku­mar must be re­gret­ting the split with the BJP? Surely, he must be re­gret­ting over the po­lit­i­cal hara-kiri he com­mit­ted by break­ing the al­liance. He could not an­tic­i­pate the NaMo tsunami, he never though Naren­dra Modi will be­come the Prime Min­is­ter on his own. He thought the elec­tion will throw up a frac­tured man­date and he will be able to win 25 seats on his own, and then he will pre­vent Modi from be­com­ing PM. I am sure he would not have bro­ken the

NI­TISH, LALU TIE UP They (Ni­tish & Lalu) have now be­come po­lit­i­cally so weak that a tie up could be well within the realms of pos­si­bil­ity

Don’t you think the Ni­tish–Lalu com­bine will sweep the polls? Any com­bi­na­tion will not help if people de­cide to go for an al­ter­na­tive govern­ment. What is even more sig­nif­i­cant, JD(U)’s vote share has shrunk sharply and stag­ing a come­back seems very im­prob­a­ble. Be­sides, the people have tried the JD(U) govern­ment which has been in power for nearly eight-and-half years. So, there is strong anti-in­cum­bency against the govern­ment. Again the people have seen the per­for­mance of the RJD-Congress gov­ern­ments. So, they will go for an al­ter­na­tive govern­ment as people have seen the per­for­mance of the BJP, both in the gov- ern­ment and op­po­si­tion. We will also be not hit by the anti-in­cum­bency fac­tor be­cause we are no more in the govern­ment. So, when­ever elec­tion is held, the BJP will be­come the nat­u­ral choice for an al­ter­na­tive govern­ment. We will also sweep the polls in the as­sem­bly elec­tions. Did you ex­pect this kind of re­sults in the Lok Sabha elec­tions? We were ex­pect­ing 30-plus seats in Bi­har. So our per­for­mance matched our ex­pec­ta­tions. Other than the NAMo fac­tor, what other rea­sons you think ac­counted for this re­sound­ing suc­cess? Apart from the NaMo fac­tor, the fail­ure of the UPA govern­ment which faced huge anti-in­cum­bency led to our strong per­for­mance. But it was Naren­dra Modi all the way, the way he ran the cam­paign, the way he ex­ploited the sit­u­a­tion, no other leader could have done that. But I must also re­fute Ni­tishji and other lead­ers who at­tribute our vic­tory to com­mu­nal po­lar­i­sa­tion. What hap­pened in Araria, Kathiar and Purnea – in all such con­stituen­cies we lost but we could have won if there was com­mu­nal po­lar­i­sa­tion. So what they say is far from true. Ni­tish Ku­mar has re­signed own­ing moral re­spon­si­bil­ity for the JD(U)’de­ba­cle. Your com­ments. It is all nau­tanki (drama). How long he will stick to his de­ci­sion? His­tory says he can’t re­main out of power. Can the new chief min­is­ter, Ji­tan Ram Man­jhi, com­plete the term? Man­jhi will be a proxy CM much like the way So­nia Gandhi anointed Man­mo­han Singh as PM, and Lalu Prasad ap­pointed his wife Rabri Devi as CM. So Man­jhi will be a rub­ber-stamp chief min­is­ter for Ni­tish Ku­mar.

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