If indeed a Narendra Modi-led NDA Government were to form the next government at the Centre as projected by the exit polls, then it would be Modi’s political bete noire and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who would face the heat first up. Nitish, who is heading a minority government in the state following the snapping of ties with the BJP over Modi’s anointment as PM candidate, has been saying throughout his campaign that if the JD(U) were to perform poorly in the elections, the BJP would not allow his government’s continuation in office.
Compounding Nitish’s worries on this front, almost all the exit polls have projected bleak poll prospects for the JD(U). Also, some of the BJP leaders have predicted the Nitish Government’s certain demise. And barely a few days ago, former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi made a sensational disclosure when he said,“More than 50 JD(U) MLAs are in touch with us. They are also supporting our candidates in the polls. But the BJP will not make any attempt to topple the government. The party’s inner contradictions will eventually bring it down.”
Another senior BJP leader and former state minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey too claimed that the Nitish Government would fall on May 21 as many JD(U)leaders were likely to raise the banner of revolt after the declaration of the LS poll results.
Currently, the JD(U)has 116 MLAs in the 243-member Assembly, besides having the support of four Congress MLAs, one CPI legislator and four independents. Further, the Congress-RJD alliance will mean that the JD(U) can no longer count on the grand old party’s backing. Compounding Nitish’s woes, the Patna High Court recently set aside the election of Som Prakash Singh, one of the four independent MLAs supporting the JD(U) Government.
The politically beleaguered Chief Minister was also forced to crackdown on dissidence and the JD(U) had initiated action against four of its MLAs. Nitish, who earlier used to call the shots in the JD(U), would now find it increasingly hard to convince the party workers that his decision to sever ties with the BJP was taken in the party’s best interests.