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
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.