Nitish Kumar: King or King-Maker

PATNA, AUG 21 (UNI):- Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during all party condolence meeting organised for former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, at Sri Krishna Memorial Hall, in Patna on Tuesday. UNI PHOTO-61U

With less than a year to go, the planning to the parliament elections has gained momentum in political circles.

The much awaited opposition finally able to hold a joint meeting to explore synergy & build consensus for putting up a fight to Narendra Modi led NDA which as if now looks comfortable for winning 2024 general elections.

Nitish Kumar must be congratulated for his effort which is a significant milestone in step to build a united opposition. But hold on, Is this real? Or just a photo-op by the opposition parties. The breaking of NCP just a week after opposition meet in Patna tells a different story. There seems to be many holes in the opposition armour.

We must know that a group of 11 players is united by a purpose & the purpose drive them to success. Let’s dive down the said/unsaid purpose of opposition parties

  • Many of these regional parties are facing existential crisis
  • They want to throw out Narendra Modi & BJP from the office
  • To save democracy
  • For the welfare for the people of India

I appreciate the way politician play with the people for their advantage. A large section of politicians just cares about self-interest but smartly put onus on the people. This remind me, once a famous politician told in the interview that he became chief minister because people wanted him to be the CM. As if he had no desires to become CM. While they frequently list reason 3 & 4 for coming together, actual reason are the first two points. These ideologically opposite parties are willing to compromise on ideology and making friendship with old time enemies as they have a common goal of throwing BJP from the office. Unfortunately, they don’t have any narrative to go to the people. Opposition must be reminded that it’s not Congress that has won Karnataka elections but its BJP which has lost it. In parliament elections, story will be different because they will be up against Mr. Narendra Modi.

Let’s comeback to our topic of meeting of opposition parties & why Nitish succeeded where other fails to take the lead. Nitish willingness to sacrifice his party leaders for becoming the PM face has motivated him to take the lead. He is one shrewd politician who can sacrifice his loved ones & ideology for his self-interest. Because of it, opposition parties will always have a trust deficit with Nitish Kumar & that is going to be his biggest drawback in run up to the PM nominee of united opposition. He may have come with flying colours in musical chair he played with BJP & RJD in last few years but to win elections, a leader must have credibility & Nitish Kumar has none left in him.

Ideology & credibility are the two secret sauce that make up a great leader. Unfortunately, Nitish Kumar has lost both in the musical chair game which he championed over the years.

Secondly, Nitish Kumar model of governance have failed miserably over the years. A under construction bridge has fallen twice & yet Bihar government is happy over the work in progress of the bridge. This signifies corruption is rampant in Bihar and has got support of Bihar government machinery. He doesn’t have a narrative to go to the people of India for asking votes.

Lastly, Leaders must have vision to win elections. Nitish only vision is to defeat BJP & doesn’t include voters’ aspiration & ambition. The one who can convert rallies into vote is that one leader who is ideal to lead the opposition. Nitish Kumar has no limited influence in Bihar & none outside Bihar. He became CM because of BJP or RJD.

If he really wants to defeat BJP, then he must position himself as a leader who can weave strategies to unite opposition. A king maker role will better suit for him the coalition. It’s unlikely, Nitish Kumar, a self-centred individual ever sacrifice his PM ambition for the sake of uniting opposition. In current scenario, he is neither a King nor a Kingmaker.

However, arithmetic unity will not be enough to defeat BJP. Opposition must move on to find out a narrative that can potentially unite people against BJP and its can’t be old rhetoric of pseudo secularism.

Congress may now be a weak party yet among all opposition parties, it has the maximum presence in the country. so, Congress must act as the fulcrum of the alliance. And for this they need to look beyond Mr. Rahul Gandhi.

In my next article, I will discuss desired opposition strategy, ways, means of partnership & how opposition can stitch a formidable alliance.

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