Cracks seem to be appearing between the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party alliance, over the issue of Narendra Modi’s Prime Ministerial aspirations.
Nitish Kumar, The Chief Minister of Bihar, has not been welcoming the idea of projecting Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of their alliance. To top it up, the enigmatic leader has also revealed the kind of leader his party wants the BJP to project. He also threatened to reconsider the alliance if Janata Dal’s voice went unheard.
However, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman refuted these claims. She maintained that the allies are expected to support BJP in bringing down the ineffectual UPA regime, which she maintained has failed on every front. Indications were clear that Nitish Kumar could be doing the UPA government a favor, by not being united with BJP in their quest to remove UPA government from power.
The alliance between Janata Dal (United) and BJP dates back to seventeen years. Nitish Kumar has also served as a Union minister, when the BJP led government last came to power in the year 2002. Taking his aim at Modi, Nitish Kumar said that a leader must be able to carry all the sections of the society with him and not just a certain part. He also took a direct swipe at Modi by stating that publicity propaganda will alone not suffice for the Prime Ministerial candidature. To prove his point, Nitish Kumar gave the example of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was the Prime Minister during BJP’s last tenure, saying that he had the necessary skill to lead all the diverse sections of the society together.
Situation has worsened further, following the declaration of its political memorandum, which clearly states that a Prime Ministerial candidate must demonstrate his secular ability and mustn’t have even an iota of bloat on his secular image. This is described as a reference to Modi again, whose secular image has always been a controversial topic.
Though the Congress led UPA must be heartened to hear this news of rift, it remains unlikely that they will capitalize on this. The UPA coalition has itself become severely weak, as there appears no trust amongst the allies. Sharad Yadav, who has a dual role of the JD (U) party president, in addition to that of the NDA convenor, also stated this fact. He went further ahead to reiterate that the aim of the alliance remains the toppling of the UPA government and the NDA has always been committed to its aim. To distance JD (U) further from the allegations of its closeness to Congress party, Sharad Yadav also stated how the base of the party was formed on the opposition of Congress party and its ideas.