The first cracks between the BJP and others components of the NDA have begun to show already. The Chief Minister of Bihar and long time BJP ally Nitish Kumar has openly expressed his opposition to Modi being projected as the NDA’s choice of the next PM.
The move promoted Bihar BJP to threaten destabilizing the Nitish government in Bihar with a trust motion on June 9. However, it appears that members of Bihar BJP themselves are divided on whether or not it should continue to support Nitish Kumar and the JD(U) as they staged a walkout which directly helped Nitish won the assembly’s vote of confidence.
So what does breakup of the coalition in Bihar mean for BJP’s dream to obtain power in the central government in 2014?
Well, for starters, JD(U)’s decision to part ways with the BJP indicates that the other components of the NDA coalition are still divided on the matter of Narendra Modi being considered for the PM’s post should the NDA win the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
What needs to be understood here is that unlike the BJP, parties like the JD(U) haven’t been too keen on jumping on the Hindutava bandwagon and have a sizable Muslim demographic to consider in their own states and constituencies. If they support the BJP’s decision, they essentially alienate this crucial “vote bank” which may not mean too much for a national party like the BJP, but it can make all the difference in the world to a smaller regional party like the JD(U).
That being said, the JD(U) is one of the key components of the NDA and if they choose to form or join a third front, the BJP would not be able to gather the kind of number they need to gain power in the Lok Sabha.
Nitish Kumar’s decision to not support the BJP’s internal and autocratic decision to hint that Modi would be their PM candidate also indicates that members of the NDA are well aware of the fact that the BJP is no longer a united party per se. While L.K. Advani was never openly projected as the NDA’s choice of PM, it was his closeness to the secular former PM Atal Bihari Bajpai that first prompted a bulk of these regional parties to join the NDA.
If the JD(U)-BJP breakup is anything to go by, one can only speculate that the strife that is brewing inside the BJP would end up breaking the party into two halves and at this point, it’s anybody’s guess as to which half would remain in the NDA should the BJP break up into Advani and Modi led groups in the future.