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Clash of the opportunists

Clash of the opportunists

The high voltage political drama in Bihar is gaining momentum as tensions between the former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and current CM Jitan Ram Manjhi supporters, the two factions of the Janata Dal U escalate with both accusing each other of engaging in low-level politics.

Manjhi had shifted allegiance to BJP, evidently, to retain the Chief Minister post. Nitish had earlier sided with the BJP to stay in power and later with rivals RJD for political motives. His miscalculations led to his resignation from the Chief Minister post and Manjhi became the new CM. But the crisis and the political uncertainty in the state have apparently taken new turns. For Nitish, Manjhi now stands as the obstacle in the way of becoming the Chief Minister. Manjhi, was sacked as the JD (U) legislature party leader at a meeting of the party MLAs on Saturday. Already aware of the lack of majority in the party, he instead of resigning recommended an immediate dissolution of the State Assembly. Shortly after the Cabinet passed the dissolution, the Speaker elected Nitish Kumar, as the leader of the legislature party. The drama would advance further with the different party MLAs offered money in return for changing allegiance and benefitting each party. They are likely to pander to the luring demands and the interests and the welfare of the people will be at stake as usual.

Manjhi has declared that he would prove majority in the Assembly. He has reportedly held discussions with the Prime Minister for dealing with the political crisis in Bihar. Manjhi had been criticised for his poor governance; but despite being wary of the fact, the BJP have so far maintained a silence on the matter. The BJP is likely to exploit the political crisis within the JD (U) to consolidate its position in the state and is looking forward to the victory in the Assembly elections in November. The party leaders shift allegiance randomly to different parties to remain in power. This blatant opportunism has left people with no choice other than to lose faith in the government. The only way out is to return to a more ethical solution, to value politics. This would prove beneficial not only in Bihar but other states as well. Election campaigns in Delhi have helped, to an extent, to link power politics to public issues. Therefore one has to believe a recover is still not impossible. That calls for leaders who honour democracy. It is yet to see whether the farce currently taking place in Bihar could help in democratizing Indian polity.

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