The recently held state assembly elections especially of UP, Punjab and Manipur and also the local Civic body elections in Maharashtra and Orissa show a very interesting picture.
The results of the Civic body elections are out and BJP has won handsomely in both Maharashtra n Orissa. Whereas the actual results of 5 state assembly will be officially be known on 11th March, but then various exit polls show a ‘Lotus’ bloom in 4/5 states barring Punjab. Now till date hundreds and thousands of articles have been written with respect to when, what, why and how of this results and many more are in the pipelines.
There have been also numerous attempts done by the MSM (so-called neutral, secular and liberal flag bearers of our society by their own admission) to make every election as a litmus test for Modi n a coming of age of RaGa. And on every occasion [barring Bihar 2015] they have fallen flat on their faces. Anyway, this article is not about the life and times of MSM in India [will require a whole novel to be written, that to in multiple volumes]. This article is to look into the future of NDA.
One thing these elections have firmly established is the popularity of PM Modi. He is at present the tallest leader of India and no one comes even near to him regarding pan Indian acceptance. If Manipur tomorrow gives BJP majority, and IF and this is a big IF BJP crosses 202 mark in UP, which at this moment it seems to be getting quite comfortably, there will be virtually no opposition left for Modi in 2019.
And here comes Nitish Kumar in picture. Nitish separated from NDA in run up to 2014 because of his opposition to Modi, and his own ambition of becoming PM if there were to be a hung verdict in 2014. He later joined hands with Lalu [convicted for corruption] in 2015, to defeat BJP in Bihar. But with the kind of picture emerging from across the country right from Maharashtra to Assam and Manipur, Uttarakhand and UP to Orissa is the popularity of Modi increasing leaps and bounds and which is helping BJP gaining momentum like never before.
This combined with the uneasy Alliance JDU has with RJD and talks of Lalu running Bihar through his sons, Nitish Kumar may feel more comfortable with NDA than with Maha-Gathbandhan. It is very clear that even if Nitish Kumar is thinking of becoming PM in 2019, it’s just impossible for him to match the Charisma of Modi across India. Also Congress won’t make him the leader of UPA over and above RaGa, and the third front is just not going to work because there won’t anyone left. Jayalalitha is no more and the Dravidian parties at present are just not up for the task. Naveen Patnaik has already ceded ground to BJP and the national party is going to keep expanding. BSP was routed to zero in 2014 and even in 2017 it’s coming a distant 3rd according to exit polls. With BJP entering into new territories of North East; it will take tremendous efforts from the opposition to beat Modi in 2019.
At present Nitish Kumar has 2 options in front of him. He can either choose to be a part of the Maha-Gathbandhan and be the chief minister of Bihar where he is partially, if not completely, controlled by Lalu and Tejaswi Yadav, and dream of becoming the PM some day [however farfetched that may be], or he can come back to NDA and become the CM of Bihar with full powers[realizing that he does not have a realistic chance of winning against Modi].
They say 1 in hand is better than 2 in the bush, let’s see how Nitish Kumar thinks.