oppn parties Will the Mahagathbandhan Break?

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  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Will the Mahagathbandhan Break?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Lalu Prasad and family are in deep trouble, both personally and politically. Politically, they are set to lose the perks of office as Nitish Kumar has put them on notice for various corruption charges. Nitish has been emboldened to take this step, despite being the junior partner in the alliance, for two big reasons. First, the BJP has assured him of outside support in case he has to break the alliance with RJD. Second, he wants to preserve his corruption-free image by not being seen as protecting the Lalu clan. If he can carry this out, it will have huge implication for the so-called second front (with the Congress having been decimated, the third front has become passé and the Congress is now part of the second front) and opposition unity.

If RJD is forced to leave the mahagathbandhan in Bihar and if Nitish chooses to take outside support from BJP, the Congress will also leave the alliance. That effectively would mean that Nitish will not be counted as an ally by any of the opposition parties. As it is, Nitish and Mamata do not see eye to eye. Hence, for all practical purposes, JD (U) would become a NDA ally. Nitish must calculate the pros and cons of such a move before seeking BJP support to remain in government.

For the BJP, it would be a win-win situation all the way. Amit Shah is still smarting from the effect of the drubbing at the hands of the mahagathbandhan in Bihar. Although he managed to prove that it was a one-off event by turning the tables in UP, Shah is a man who neither forgets nor forgives. If the alliance in Bihar breaks, Shah would be the happiest man in India. But the BJP will not stand to gain much if it does not join the government, which seems a remote possibility at this moment.

Further, the RJD potential of creating mischief in the state is huge, especially after their good showing during the elections. The party has musclemen and support among the yadavs. Hence, if Nitish chooses to break the alliance, he must be prepared to face major law and order problems in the state. These problems will escalate to unmanageable levels if the Central agencies arrest any member of the Lalu clan.