Sunday Snippets: Amit and Nitish!
Sunday Snippets: Amit and Nitish!
By Venkatesh Raghavan
As we sipped tea at our favourite Irani Café, I and Amir had a good discussion point of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s assertion in Lauriya in West Champaran that there was now no room for the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance. Our conversation was somewhat along these lines:
Amir: The interesting part of Amit Shah’s rally in Lauriya was that he spelt out that the BJP’s doors will remain permanently shut for Nitish Kumar and that there will be no alliance with the Bihar Chief Minister ever in future.
Me: Yes, Nitish was the first to declare in January itself that he would rather choose death over any alliance with his former ally, the BJP. But it is clear that our Union Home Minister has decided to set a new precedent for his party. I feel that it should be welcomed and applauded in the interests of putting an end to all horse-trading proposals that occur in a post-poll scenario.
Amir: You can’t be so sure of that. Remember he had once said, “If BJP loses the elections in the state, firecrackers will burst in Pakistan.” Such people always have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Me: I feel we will by then get a new union home minister who will announce that Amit Shah’s promise was just a jumla. Shah himself is lenient on whatever gets said during poll rallies. His party men have already made it clear to the retired army men that promise made during a political rally are not to be taken very seriously.
Amir: Do you think Nitish Kumar will be able to contest for the hot seat of Prime Minister in the 2024 general elections? Amit Shah has loudly proclaimed that Kumar’s game plan to make Tejashwi Yadav the Bihar Chief Minister and himself the Prime Minister will bite the dust.
Me: Politically it would be a masterstroke if Nitish, by posing himself as the Prime Ministerial candidate, could arrange for an opposition victory in the 2024 general elections. However, the plans will bite the dust for a totally different reason that has little to do with the political clout of the BJP.
Amir: What on earth can that be? It’s purely a political decision to vote in favour of a secular front rather than re-elect the saffron brigade. I don’t see it translating into reality unless the Opposition elects its candidate for the hot seat well in advance of the general elections.
Me: You have failed to see the writing on the wall Amir. Think once more about it. Even you will proclaim it to be an unwise move. I will give you a hint – We all need to chill out and relax sometime in our life.
Amir: Frankly, it does not make any sense and looks unconnected with who becomes our next prime minister. I think you need to explain your stand.
Me: Okay. It’s not exactly about who becomes the Prime Minister of India. The problem is of a specific nature. What will things be like if Nitish Kumar becomes the Prime Minister of our country?
Amir: Do you mean to say that you are a Prime Minister Narendra Modi fan and dislike Nitish Kumar?
Me: Total miss, dear friend. Can you at least recall what happened in the midterm elections of 1980? Morarji Desai had to step down following a coup within the Janata Party polls after he imposed strict countrywide prohibition law. Likewise, Nitish is in favour of total prohibition in India. Do you understand it now?
Amir: Now it all makes sense. I hope our voters are able to see through this early enough.