Bihar politics appears to be taking curious turns ahead of the assembly elections scheduled later this year. Hours after chief minister Nitish Kumar spoke against the NRC, adding that he was open to debates over Citizenship and NPR in Bihar assembly, a senior BJP leader and former Union minister has heaped praises on RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, triggering speculations in the political circles. What was more interesting, the BJP leader said his party never talked about making “RJD-free” Bihar.
“Tejashwi Yadav is an intelligent and energetic leader and has tremendous possibilities. We will welcome him if he is willing to join the NDA,” BJP leader Sanjay Paswan told the media on Monday evening adding that politics is a game of possibilities.
Injecting further interest, Paswan said they would form a new alliance if their party’s alliance with Nitish Kumar fell through and claimed his party never talked about making Bihar free from RJD which is headed by jailed politician Lalu Prasad. “We never said that Bihar should be RJD free. In Bihar, the power of RJD should stay because it is the only opposition in the state, not Congress or any other political party,” Paswan told the media.
Although the RJD hurriedly rejected such talks saying there was no question of allying with the BJP yet much importance is being attached to these statements by Paswan coming close on the heels of the chief minister subtly attacking the BJP over the NRC and CAA. Initially, only a section of JD-U leaders such as Prashant Kishor, party’s national vice-president and Pavan Kumar Varma, party national general secretary had been speaking against these issues but it was for the first time in the past one month that Nitish himself talked much over these issues in the Bihar assembly on Monday. He not only rejected the NRC but also said he was ready for debates over the Citizenship Act and National Population Register (NPR) in the Bihar assembly.
“Har chiz par charcha honi chahiye (there should be debates over every issues),” Nitish said, addressing the House on Monday. Strangely, his party had supported the Citizenship Bill in both the Houses of the Parliament. The bill was passed only last month.
Reports said the BJP leadership is annoyed with the chief minister over the way a section of top JD-U leaders had been constantly criticizing the BJP over Citizenship and other such contentious issues but Nitish taking no action against them. Prior to this, the JD-U had demanded lion’s share of seats from is alliance partners to contest elections. However, it’s not a one-way conflict. The BJP too has been subtly hitting at Nitish over his claim for NDA’s CM face. Only last week, Paswan said the people of Bihar are “tired of Nitish Kumar” and want a new face on the state throne.