“Secularism for Sale” by S Prasanarajan in a recent edition of India Today is thought provoking. It reads:
“That is why Nitish Kumar is a successful salesman in the market-place of secularism. Today all the Lohia-ite adjectives - socialist, secular and anti-Congress are negotiable for one reason: The containment of Namenda Modi. The Bihar Chief Minister’s self-interest in a secular alternative to the Modi model of development is not an item as bestselling as the superstar of the Indian Right. He knows that. For the sake of Bihar, Nitish is more ready to sell his secularism to the highest bidder”.
Nitish Kumar is no longer a reliable ally neither of the BJP nor by any stretch of imagination a political ‘star puller’ for the BJP-led NDA coalition. In my opinion he is a ‘no-performing’ asset for the BJP who is becoming a political liability for the BJP. If he was such a strong and political heavyweight then he would have not needed the BJP support for running a coalition government in Bihar.
Nitish Kumar may proclaim that the NDA needs a secular Prime Minister in 2014 implying that Modi is communal. Pray may I then ask as to what label should be applied to a political leaders who patently is more communal when your political stands are motivated not by political principles but appeasement of Indian Muslim vote-banks.
The BJP should be bold enough to forego political power in 2014 to form a Government if it has to depend on support of the pseudo-secularists. Nitish Kumar and those of his ilk have no cogent answers to the fact that Modi came into power for a third time because Indian Muslims in Gujarat , many of them, voted for him.
Pointed persistently in my Columns has been the fact that Modi’s unceasing demonization by the Congress was motivated so as to forestall his projection as Prime Minister in 2014 as that it would affect the dynastic succession. That seems now not to have worked. Nitish Kumar’s indirect demonization of Modi seems also to be motivated by similar aims as Modi’s emergence as Prime Ministerial candidate may push Nitish Kumar into political irrelevance on Delhi’s centre stage.
Should he even switch over to the Congress coalition, Nitish Kumar will not emerge as a political heavyweight in New Delhi. He may at best emerge as a ‘swing Factor” in the uncertain political scenario in the wake of 2014 General Elections.
Since Mid-Term Elections are also a possibility, there is all the more reason that the BJP jettisons Nitish Kumar and his JD (U) before he creates avoidable divisions within the BJP. Nitish Kumar says he is giving time till the year-end to announce its candidate for Prime Minister. Why so? Why does he not take a principled plunge and categorically announce that JD (U) does not accept Modi as Prime Minister. Why beating around the bush of ‘secularism’ as if that has not already done enough damage to the political fabric of the Indian Sate.
In an earlier Column too, I had recommended that the BJP-JD (U) alliance be dissolved. I now strongly recommend that BJP should now on its own volition “jettison” this political link-up.