The Janata Dal (United) is fully justified in parting company with the Bharatiya Janata Party, as it sees in the rise of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the BJP a real threat to secularism and unity in diversity. The BJP itself is to blame for the split. It could have allayed the JD (U)’s fears by agreeing to name a leader other than Mr. Modi as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014.
The BJP may be right in saying that the JD (U) cannot interfere in its internal affairs. But it is just not possible for Mr. Kumar and Mr. Modi, who are ideologically poles apart and have their own styles of functioning, to be part of the same alliance. The latest development should prompt the BJP to assess whether Mr. Modi is an asset or a liability to the party — before it takes a final call on the leadership question.
G. David Milton,
With the JD (U)’s departure from the NDA fold, politics has taken a crucial turn ahead of the 2014 general election. The crisis in the NDA could have been averted had L.K. Advani and Nitish Kumar exercised restraint. It is strange that Mr. Kumar has hinted at joining a new front (minus the Congress and the BJP), instead of banking on his good governance, which he refers to time and again.
Bhanamma Aravinda Bai,
That Mr. Modi was unacceptable to Mr. Kumar was well known. The elevation of Mr. Modi in the BJP and the weakening of Mr. Advani’s hold over the party led to the split in the 17-year-old alliance. With the AIADMK not committing itself to a pre-poll alliance, the NDA seems to be running out of partners. One of the key challenges for Mr. Modi would be finding new allies and retaining the old ones. Only time will tell which way the tide will turn next.
Mr. Kumar’s slow and silent rise in Bihar is different from the raucous and trendy rise of Mr. Modi in Gujarat. He is a better alternative to Mr. Modi at the national level.
The observation in the editorial “Limited agendum” (June 15) that without the Left driving the agenda, a third front can at best offer a mathematical rather than a policy alternative to the BJP and the Congress is not supported by reality. The Left front, which has a major presence only in three States, should be comfortable in a third front that espouses policies highlighting a federal scheme for India. It is time India had a Central government of regional parties having a say in the governance of the country, rather than a coalition in which one or the other national party leads the government, dictating to smaller allies.