oppn parties Nitish Kumar May Not Be Acceptable to All

News Snippets

  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Nitish Kumar May Not Be Acceptable to All

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-03-29 13:22:58

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Janata Dal (United) has proposed that Nitish Kumar be made the face of opposition unity and the frontrunner to take on Narendra Modi in the 2019 general elections. The party has said that Nitish is the most credible face of inclusive growth by citing his “achievements” in Bihar and the fact that he got a second mandate to rule the state.

Although JD (U) is entitled to its opinion, it presupposes a lot of things in making the suggestion. The first and the obvious thing it supposes is that there will be a rainbow coalition of opposition parties to counter Narendra Modi and the BJP. In doing so, it supposes that diverse political parties, cutting across the spectrum, will be persuaded to come on a common platform. A mahagathbandhan of the sort cobbled up in Bihar is not possible on a pan-India basis for the simple reason that India is not Bihar. Bringing the Left and the Trinamool, or the AIADM and the DMK, or the SP and the BSP together is just a pipe dream. Bringing some of these parties on the same platform as the Congress is another problem. Taking just a few parties along will be meaningless as it would not serve the purpose of preventing division of opposition votes.

Then, it supposes that transcending the personal egos of most of the other leaders, Nitish Kumar could be accepted as the common prime ministerial candidate. The biggest hurdle in this will be one Rahul Gandhi. The Congress will cite its all-India infrastructure and power in a few states (although that might change in the mini elections in 2018) to claim the top spot for its heir apparent. Further, given the bad blood between Mamata Banerjee and Nitish recently, she will definitely object to his candidature. A few other leaders might also cite Kumar’s recent bonhomie with Modi to block him.

Instead of throwing up names in a bid to project Nitish Kumar as an all India leader, the JD (U) would do well to first start the process of talking to all the concerned parties to create the platform. They should talk about a common minimum programme, a clear cut agenda and the strategy to be developed to counter the BJP. It is mischievous on JD (U)’s part to bring up the name of Nitish as the face of the opposition at such an early stage. It is most likely to be a stumbling block in achieving opposition unity.