Hawa Lalu ki, Nitish to ek seenk hain
Our Lalu babu jab chahen wo Nitish ki gaddi se utar sakhte hain. Such is the refrain of his followers, over-jubilant at the return of their mentor to power. A large number of followers of Lalu Yadav who had gone underground or taken refuge in Nepal are slowly streaming out. They are hopeful that they will be able to set up their ‘dhandha’ soon. Lalu Yadav holds the reins of Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) government in Bihar. He has 80 MLAs in his stable while Nitish Kumar struggled to secure around 59. Stray incidents of violence are being reported almost daily from Siwan and nearby areas. In the state capital Patna people are already apprehending return of goons who had unleashed jungle raj in Patna. Nitish Kumar has kept the home portfolio with him. Astute that Nitish is fully aware of Lalu’s antecedents, he will surely try to suppress the goons, but how much is the question. He can never risk Lalu’s ire. Yet, he cannot let law and order slip into a state of anarchy. His dream of becoming prime minister, since his victory in Bihar, appears to become a reality and he does not want to let it slip. The likes of Farooq Abdullah, whenever they visit Patna puff up Nitish further by declaring that he would be their prime ministerial candidate. So the question already being discussed is what can Nitish do. He cannot let goons run riot which will jeopardise his chances of sitting on the top gaddi in Delhi. At the same time he cannot risk Lalu’s anger reach the climax. If he is dethroned he will lose all hope of going to Delhi.
But can Lalu afford to bring down the government. He has higher stake than anyone else. Nitish would hope that his government lasts until 2019, and while he goes to Delhi, Lalu manages Bihar then can rule the roost. Ironically, both have a similar solution. If Nitish goes back to BJP he can retain power without Lalu’s support. But then he would have to give up his long-cherished dream of becoming prime minister of India. So it would be toss up between Delhi and Patna gaddi.
In such circumstances, Lalu is better placed, if he persuade BJP to align with him.