Modi-Nitish bonhomie rekindles hope of JD(U) return to NDA fold
The big praise for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised eyebrows of many. Political observers are seeing the exchange of words of praise between Modi and Kumar as a step towards revival of the decade old alliance, which was severed by Kumar in 2013.
According to experts, the big praise from Modi at the first meet after notes ban has rekindled the talks of Kumar getting back to NDA fold. “It was the Bihar Chief Minister who had first supported note ban despite the fact that senior leaders of JD(U) and his key ally RJD had opposed the move,” a political expert said, adding that when the whole opposition was united against the demonetisation, Nitish had defended the decision, which is enough to believe the ‘mutual’ understanding of both.
“Questions were raised even at that time too, which was rejected by Kumar saying that he had supported the note ban decision of the Modi government just on the basis of principals,” the expert said, adding that Kumar, who believes in clean image politics, is little bit ‘stressed’ over the image of Lalu Prasad and his party. The reports of Kumar meeting BJP president Amit Shah a few days after the demonetisation move had also fuelled the talks of JD (U) leader coming back to NDA fold, which was also “rejected” by Kumar.
While hailing the liquor ban decision, Modi said, “Prohibition is a good step. Any step for social change is very difficult. But Kumar has initiated it by enforcing prohibition. All people including political parties should back him for it.”
Interestingly, Modi heaped praise upon Nitish on the dais which was also shared by his key ally Lalu Prasad during the concluding function of 350th Prakash Parva of 10th Sikh Guru Govind Singh in Patna.
The PM further said that Bihar will become an example for the entire country through successful implementation of prohibition. The PM’s mention of prohibition came in response to the Bihar CM’s request to him to spread prohibition across the country.
Rejecting any political meaning of Modi’s praise, JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said, “There is no question of JD(U) joining hands with BJP. It’s the public pressure that forced Modi to praise Kumar’s prohibition decision. Bihar will never forget that he is the same Modi who had questioned the authenticity of DNAs of people of Bihar. He has realised the hard truth, which BJP leaders of the state are not able to understand.”