statesman news service
PATNA, 17 JUNE: ‘Development” which was the main agenda of the ruling Nitish Kumar government is likely to be the first victim of the prevailing political uncertainties in Bihar in the aftermath of the JD-U pulling the plug on the NDA and dumping the BJP, its 17 year-old partner, as the present regime will be rather more busy managing the required number of legislators in the House and keep its flock together to be in power. Although there is no immediate threat to the now “JD-U” government, nobody can say for sure how long it survives as it enjoys only waterthin majority, which means “Jharkhand dramas” will very soon be on display here too.
At present, the JD-U has 118 members in the Bihar state Assembly while it claims support of four Independents which brings its total tally to 122 ~ only one more than the magical figure of 121, required to form a govenrnment ~ meaning, the government will have only simple majority in a House of 243 against a three-fouth majority earlier enjoyed by the NDA government. On the other hand, the combined strength of the Opposition will be 114, including 91 members from the BJP, 22 from the RJD and a lone member from the LJP which will be enough to rob off the ruling regime’s sleep. The Congress which has four members and the CPI with one member, has not made itsstands clear. Bihar, under its Chief Minister was widely credited with scripting a “success story” but the main credit to this so-called “turnaround” directly goes to three BJP ministers who held key portfolios like Finance, Road constructions and Health.
While the Finance portfolio was held by deputy chief minister Mr Sushil Kumar Modi, the Road construction was represented by Mr Nand Kishore Yadav. Mr Ashwinin Kumar Choube, on the other hand, led the health portfolio. The BJP has already alleged that the JD-U was trying to break the party by promising key ministerial berths to party legislators in lieu of support.
Observers familiar with the political pulse in the state, say the prevailing situation may also lead to social tension as there will be very sharp polarisation of votes along caste lines in the aftermath of the BJP raising the bogey of “vishwasghat” (betrayal).
The chief minister claims support of his fellow Kurmi caste, extremely backward caste, MahaDalits and other minority, whereas the politically-powerful Bhumihars, Brahmins, Kayashtha and the businessmen community have been the traditional voters of the BJP. The development has obviously not gone down well within the upper caste masses who are dismayed at the role of Mr Kumar and are comparing the chief minister with “Brutus” who is immortalised in the famous quotation “Et tu, Brute?” from Shakespeare&’s Julius Caesar.

CPI, SP welcome JD-U&’s decision to sever ties with BJP
NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE: The CPI today welcomed the JD-U’s decision to break its 17-year tie with the BJP and said its legislators would vote in support of the Nitish Kumar government in the confidence vote in the Bihar Assembly on Wednesday. “This, however, does not mean any overall support for the Nitish Kumar Government whose every action will be judged on its merits,” CPI Central Secretariat said in a statement. The CPI and the CPI-ML (Liberation) also opposed the Bihar Bandh call given by the BJP tomorrow. Meanwhile, the SP has hailed the decision of the JD-U to quit the NDA as it sees in it an opportunity to expand its base in Bihar politics.
The SP, despite its best efforts, has so far been unsuccessful in registering its presence in Bihar.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, too, has been
loath to yield any ground to Lalu Prasad in Uttar Pradesh. sns & pti