Shahabuddin Rocks Bihar Coalition
- Lalu supports don
- Nitish in a fix
Patna: Mohammad Shahabuddin, a criminal turned politician, who came out of jail on bail, has been causing sleepless nights for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Ever since he walked out of jail following the bail granted by Patna High Court s few days ago, Shahabuddin has been attacking the CM. Elected to Parliament four times from Siwan in Bihar, Shahabuddin is a strong supporter of the leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Lalu Prasad Yadav. The whole nation is watching Nitish Kumar to know whether he would stand up to the challenge or buckle down under coalition pressure. Nitish has a clean record in fighting corruption and putting end to jungle raj in Bihar. As long as he was in partnership with the BJP in the previous government, he was taking stringent measures to curb corruption and maintain law and order. He gained in popularity as a clean politician and efficient administrator.
When Narendra Modi, another BC leader, was selected as prime ministerial candidate of the BJP, Nitish had snapped his ties with that party. Bihar Assembly elections were held well after Modi took charge as PM. JD(U) of Nitish Kumar, RJD of Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Congress party had floated a grand alliance against the BJP and won the fiercely fought election. As the popularity graph of Modi takes a dip the name of Nitish Kumar as an alternative prime ministerial candidate used to come up. With the release of Shahabuddin, the prime ministerial ambition of Nitish have been rudely hit.
After a long gap, Nitish has broken his silence and said law would take its course. A top official of the Bihar government had asserted on Tuesday that the bail granted to the MP would be challenged by the State government in Supreme Court. But Lalu’s indirect defence of the criminal politician has put a big question mark on the future of Bihar coalition government and also on the future of Nitish Kumar.
Nitish received a lot of flack when he decided to part company with the BJP and make friends with the RJD supremo. He was criticised for stooping low to conquer by giving the post of deputy chief minister to Lalu’s inexperienced son. Knowing the questionable political practices followed by Lalu, it can be construed that the coalition government’s future is threatened. Nitish has been able to keep the boat afloat so far resolving problems created by the RJD functionaries. But Shahabuddin’s release is a development that had unimaginable potential for damaging the coalition by creating rift between Nitish and Lalu. While supporting Shahabuddin, Lalu said Nitish continues to be the leader of Mahaghatbandhan. But as far as Lalu calls the shots the din would have total immunity in Bihar. Lalu has been dictating terms to Nitish either in a subtle way or in a brazen manner. The Congress party, the junior partner in the grand alliance, had to answer the question relating to the don.
Lalu told the CNN- News 18 on Thursday that the controversy over Shahabuddin was created by the BJP and the media. He also said the matter pertaining to Shahabuddin had to be resolved by the courts.
Nitish may have to yield to public opinion and challenge the bail granted to Shahabuddin in the apex court. That would mean to risk his job and all his stakes.