Warring Signals From Bihar’s Mahaghatbandhan

PATNA:  All is not well with JD (U)-RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar, though the RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav claims otherwise. Of late the signals emanating from the three camps suggest that bitterness is creeping into the ten month old honeymoon of the trio.

It all starts with the release of underworld don Mohammad Shahabuddin on September 10, this year. Swaggering out of jail after 11 years of incarceration, Shahabuddin mocked Nitish as a “CM of circumstances”.

Other leaders from RJD like Raghuvansh Prasad Sing took the cue. He said, “Lalu Prasad is our leader and there cannot be a debate on this. The leaders of the alliance partners decided on making Nitish Kumar the chief minister. I didn’t favour it.”

Curiously the Congress added the fuel to the RJD attack by throwing a challenge, that it is free to leave the government if it does not like Nitish Kumar’s leadership. Bihar education minister and Congress state chief Ashok Chaudhary also warned that the attack on Nitish was sending wrong signals. Offended in private, but putting up a brave face in public, Nitish said: “I don’t care what people think, let them say what they want. Everyone knows whom people have given the mandate. I have never reacted to such things.” He also pledged to oppose Shahabuddin’s bail order.

The attack has laid faulty lines between once bitter rivals Nitish and Lalu. Earlier, before the elections, RJD had opposed naming Nitish Kumar as the presumptive CM for their Mahaghatbandhan (Grand Alliance). RJD has suggested that a leader should only be picked after the elections.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had intervened at that time and had ensured that Nitish Kumar led the alliance forward. RJD has won more seats than Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) in the assembly elections.

Following this Lalu Prasad Yadav has announced that all was well with the ruling alliance. He blamed the media for creating differences between them and also said, “I don’t know why Raghuvansh Singh keeps issuing these kind of statements despite advising him not to do so”. He also added, “I will talk to all the leaders why they keep on issuing press statements against each other”.  

The arch common rival to the trio, BJP merrily watching the developments.

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