The “cross-line” politics being constantly played by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has bewildered the political experts. As such, the chief minister has gone on adopting an altogether different stand from the political alliance he joins which has kept everyone confused.
He supported UPA while in the company of the NDA but openly backed NDA policies despite being part of the Opposition Grand Alliance! In another such move, the ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U) headed by Kumar in Bihar has decided to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and also to send a team to Guwahati to back the agitation against it, much to the embarrassment of the BJP.
“We have decided to oppose this Bill since it is against the spirit of Assamese pride,” JD-U general secretary KC Tyagi told newsmen after a decision to this effect was taken at a recent meeting of the party office-bearers in Patna.
This is not the first time that the JD-U has gone against the BJP, its ally, which describes this Bill as a game-changer. The JD-U has already been opposing the triple talaq Bill as well the three contentious issues of BJP which included Ram temple, abrogation of Article 370 and implementation of Uniform Civil Code . Not only that, the chief minister even supported JDU’s arch-rival, RJD’s demand for caste-based census, apart from separate reservation for extremely backward cases in Central jobs.
“Nothing could be better than providing reservation in accordance with the population of castes,” Kumar told the media earlier this week, while supporting the RJD’s demand for increasing reservation quota for OBCs in Central jobs and education institutions. He said no caste-census has taken place after 1931 and hence there is no clear data about the population of various castes available in the country. “So the next census to be conducted in 2021 should be caste-based,” he demanded.
Earlier, the chief minister had openly supported the note ban imposed by the Narendra Modi government and then also backed the government over the surgical strike in Pak-occupied Kashmir. He did so despite being a part of the opposition Grand Alliance.
Strangely, while two key Grand Alliance partners, such as the RJD and the Congress questioned these two moves of the Modi government, Kumar came out in strong support of the NDA.
A similar thing was seen in 2017 when the chief minister supported NDA’s Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind against UPA’s Meira Kumar despite being in the latter camp. RJD chief Lalu Prasad had then described Kumar’s move as “historic blunder” but the chief minister remained unmoved.
Another such peculiar thing was witnessed in 2012 when the chief minister backed UPA’s presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee against NDA’s PA Sangama. Kumar, as such, remains an enigma for his allies till date and nobody knows what will be next course of action.