Will second wave of COVID widen rift between JDU and BJP in Bihar?

While the state is grappling with massive surges in COVID-19 cases, the parties took to hitting out at each other. 

Published: 22nd April 2021 12:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2021 12:24 PM   |  A+A-

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo | Ranjit K Dey)

Express News Service

PATNA: As the COVID-19 crisis deepens by the day, the differences between Bihar's ruling party JDU and its key ally the BJP continue to increase. On Wednesday, both the parties went head-to-head over the imposition of night curfew in the State. 

JDU hit back after a recent statement made by BJP state chief Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal who questioned the logic behind the imposition of the night curfew in Bihar.

The BJP leader took to Facebook to share how dismayed he was with the night curfew from 9 P.M. to 5 A.M. and asked how it would help contain the spread of the virus. 

While the state is grappling with massive surges in COVID-19 cases, the parties took to hitting out at each other. 

Stirring the internal politics in the state, the newly inducted party member of JDU, Upendra Kushwaha responded to the BJP chief in a tweet by saying, "Sanjay Jaiswal ji, abhi rajniti vyanbaji ka nahi hai” (Sanjay Ji, now is not the time for political rhetoric)." 

Political analysts concurred that this was Kushwaha's attempt at targeting Dr. Sanjay directly at the behest of CM Nitish Kumar, to state that the JDU cannot be pressured in their governing. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, at an all-party meet, had suggested a 62-hour lockdown starting from every Friday evening to Monday morning to keep a check on the growing infections of Covid-19.

Unfortunately, just like the leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav's advice, it was not given consideration and the decision of moving on with the night curfew, which the CM's advisors had suggested, was finalised.

Following the decision, a BJP leader remarked, "Dr Jaiswal himself is a doctor and his advice merits attention,” adding that any decision must be taken after consulting with allies.

JDU senior leader Sanjay K Jha also tweeted on Wednesday defending the decision of night curfew taken by CM Nitish Kumar recently at the state crisis management department meeting.

A crisis is brewing

Reliable sources from within the NDA said that a crisis is brewing slowly between the two parties and that their differences are rising, albeit slowly. The sources believe that this may explode at any moment once the pandemic subsides. 

There are many BJP leaders and ministers, who may not admit this on the record but they are feeling overlooked during the decision-making processes in the state government led by Nitish Kumar.

In an attempt to keep a close eye on major departments headed by BJP ministers, trusted bureaucrats of the CM are appointed as principal secretaries.

On Wednesday, former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi had demanded free vaccines for all those above 18 from the state government as was promised in the recently concluded assembly polls.

CM Nitish Kumar soon after Modi's tweet announced free vaccines for everyone above 18 on Twitter.


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