Sources close to Nitish Kumar confirm that albeit a little late, he has read the writing of the wall but can do little at this hour. In one of his recent TV interviews, Home Minister Amit Shah left little scope for doubt when he said that the issue of inclusion of LJP representative in the Union cabinet will be taken up after the Bihar elections. Almost all BJP leaders say that LJP was not part of Bihar NDA, clearly meaning thereby that LJP was very much part of NDA at the national level.
Optics have special importance in politics. Old timers recall a famous cartoon by RK Laxman in the late 1970s when the Charan Singh-Morarji Desai war was at its peak. This depicted a ‘United we stand’ banner of the Janata Party as half split, with the two pole holders pulling the banner to their respective sides. A similar situation is visible in the NDA.
By not making even a passing reference to issues like Ram Temple, Article 370 and Triple Talaq etc and singing the harmony tune and harping on inclusive politics in meeting after meeting, Nitish, in a way has dropped signals that post-election, he too was not without options.
‘Saat Nishchay part II’ is not being talked by BJP campaigners and Nitish too is neither promising free Covid vaccination nor any jobs much less the 19 lakh jobs offered by the alliance partners.