- Nitish Kumar wins hearts of the Sikhs, Forges new political ‘alliance’ with Modi
- Nitish Becomes a model of political and diplomatic skill
- Eyeing 2019 General Elections?
My senior journalist colleague Jagtar Singh, in his article, has suggested that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should be felicitated at Darbar Sahib for making meticulous arrangements of Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th birth anniversary celebrations at Patna, the birthplace of the Guru.
This is a worthy example set by a non-Sikh political leader not only in the country but globally as well. Organising it the way Nitish Kumar has done, amounts to a very significant contribution in promotion of the humanist aspect of the Sikh religion. I fully endorse Jagtar Singh’s suggestion. The speeches of Nitish Kumar laced with humility made audiences feel that whatever he said came straight from his heart. It also showed his sense of great responsibility with which this noble task was so flawlessly executed.
With successful completion of the mega event of the celebrations of the Parkash Utsav, his image of an efficient and able administrator has got a further boost. The massive scale, on which this global event has been organized, will surely be remembered for a long time to come. It is also a measure of his enviable administrative and management skill that he roped in retired and serving Sikh officers for their services in making the event a huge success.
Already he has amply demonstrated his political caliber, from Deftly pushing Lalu Yadav and company from the political centre stage up to Changing the image of Bihar in 2010. Winning Bihar Assembly election on the crest of Modi wave and implementation of Prohibition too bear testimony to this quality.
I am personally won over by political and diplomatic skill of his, be it demonetization or hosting Prakash Utsav. One cannot help marvel at the way he branded Lalu as Khalnayak of Bihar and posted sweeping electoral victory by forging alliance with the BJP in 2010 and then stormed to power in 2015 in alliance with the same Lalu against the BJP. On top of it, he is still successfully heading the state government with Lalu’s sons in his council of ministers. Credit surely be given to him alone.
Just three years ago, he severed ties with BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) before 2014 Lok Sabha polls because Modi was projected as its prime ministerial candidate. He had objected to Modi’s candidature viewing him as a communalist, fundamentalist and an enemy of minorities especially Muslims. He then looked at the Congress as a secular party. This bitter opposition to Modi was evident even in 2015 Assembly elections.
But his stance showed signs of change in his perception after formation of coalition government in 2015 in Bihar headed by him. Apparently, the rationale behind this change was chronic financial dependence of the state on the Centre. Though he had quite, unambiguously, changed his anti-Modi tune but demonetization provided him an apt opportunity to be in tune with Modi regime. It seemed as if he had already been looking for this.
Nitish Kumar was the only Opposition leader who openly supported Modi on the demonetization and this paved way for their new political chemistry. The religious occasion in the form of Prakash Utsav turned out to be much needed stroke of luck to develop this new ‘friendship’ between both.
Together, they highlighted the Guru’s message on this sacred occasion and lavishly praised each other too. It may have looked peculiar that in his address from the dais Modi euologised Nitish Kumar instead of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. And this despite the known fact that it was originally Badal’s idea to celebrate this historic-religious occasion on the national scale with a global appeal.
Anyway, keeping in view the past experience it may not be clear at this stage that for how long the “honeymoon” between the two political stalwarts would continue and to which direction this marriage of convenience might take but two outcomes are immediately visible.
Firstly, like he positioned himself as pro-Muslim minority by opposing Modi three years ago, he has now endeared himself to the Sikh minority in the company of Modi. Doing so, he has further strengthened his pro-minorities and secular credentials. Undoubtedly, he has taken a step further to justify his stature as a national leader.
Secondly, his cordial relations with Modi may be helpful for the smooth flow of central funds to Bihar. After all, he has to make up for the revenue loss on account of Prohibition which was highly praised by Modih publicly on January 05, 2017. To sum up, if all look for an alternative to Modi in near future, it could well be Nitish Kumar.
Posted on January 07 , 2017
Disclaimer : The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the writer/author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Babushahi.com or Tirchhi Nazar Media. Babushahi.com or Tirchhi Nazar Media does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.