At a time when Janata Dal (United) patriarch and former president Sharad Yadav is rubbing shoulders with the Opposition parties in protest against the government’s demonetisation move, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is praising the Prime Minister’s note ban decision. Interestingly, apart from Nitish, JD(U)’s spokesperson Pawan Verma is also favouring the demonetisation move.
What has come as surprise for political experts is that JD(U)’s ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has opposed the Centre’s decision. Dubbing the note ban issue as “fargical strike” (fake strike), RJD’s supremo Lalu Prasad had said that the decision is anti-poor as it would lead to huge unemployment and most of marginal workers of Bihar, who go to different cities for work, would become jobless. According to political experts, Nitish’s move is very calculated as he has attempted to “look for another alternative collision partner”.
“It’s a probability that Nitish is feeling “suffocated” being with Lalu, who has a major stake in the Grand Alliance government. Even Congress state president Ashok Choudhary also spoke openly about severing ties on the wish of the Central leadership,” a political commentator said.
Defending his pro-demonetisation stand, Nitish on Saturday said that he has taken a principled stand on demonetisation as he was convinced that the step would help fight black money. Kumar laughed off reports of his meeting with BJP president Amit Shah as background to his support.
“I support demonetisation as I’m convinced that it will help in the fight against black money,” Kumar said addressing a function to mark Prohibition Day in Patna. Nitish also reminded reporters that he had also supported Pranab Mukherjee for Presidentship despite being a member of the NDA.