I do not understand why Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar has suddenly become hostile to BJP leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (“NaMo and Nitish’s dharma,” April 16). The two leaders were holding hands during the last general election.
Did Mr. Kumar think Mr. Modi was secular then? When the Gujarat riots took place following the Godhra massacre, Mr. Kumar was the NDA’s Railway Minister. Why did he do nothing then?
Mr. Kumar is perhaps using the Modi-bogey to leave the NDA to form a third front. A hung Parliament at the Centre will give him a brighter chance to become a prime ministerial hopeful. Mr. Kumar is using the Modi issue to break his party’s ties with the NDA at the appropriate time.
India is passing through a phase of dreadful political imbalance which calls for the urgent attention of all politicians. The Modi-Nitish conundrum is unlikely to bring any positive result. I wonder why Mr. Kumar is confronting Mr. Modi when election is round the corner. Both leaders have brought about a welcome change in the growth curve of their States. The two should rise above politics and move on.
The BJP-JD (U) alliance has been successful and continuous. United they came to power in Bihar with a commitment to good governance, which they have fulfilled. Now, Mr. Kumar dictating terms to the BJP is unfortunate and irrational. If the deadlock over the prime ministerial candidate continues, the advantage will go to the Congress. In other words, if the NDA allies do not stick together, an ineffective and inefficient UPA government will once again come to power at the Centre.
Both the BJP and its long-time ally are playing to the gallery. They are equally skilled at rhetoric and keeping their flock together. The tone of Mr. Kumar’s ultimatum sounds odd, given that the interests of both parties are best served in unison and none can afford to lose the other. The marriage of convenience between them will prevail.