Eminent journalist Sidhartha Varadarajan analyzes the political situation in Bihar (and exposes the Chaddis)

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Eminent journalist Sidhartha Varadarajan analyzes the political situation in Bihar (and exposes the Chaddis)

Post by Rashmun on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:21 pm

Whether Nitish Kumar was merely trying to alter the terms of his alliance with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal or actually preparing the ground for a dramatic new alignment with the Bharatiya Janata Party, his resignation as Bihar chief minister means an end to ‘politics as usual’ at both the state and central level. The short-lived grand-coalition, or mahagathbandhan, in the state lies wrecked, and the idea – poorly conceived and embryonic though it was – of a national-level opposition alliance to take on the BJP in 2019 will remain still-born.

But whatever happens next in terms of grand politics, it is important to clear up one misconception at the outset. The issue at stake in the Bihar crisis is not corruption and the rule of law but the manner in which politics drives public perceptions of crime, corruption and morality.

Tejashwi Yadav is not the first minister to face a chargesheet for wrongdoing. Weeks before the Central Bureau of Investigation charged him and other members of his family for a variety of offences – primarily possessing assets disproportionate to known sources of income – a minister in Narendra Modi’s council of ministers, Uma Bharati, was also chargesheeted by the same agency for arguably a far more grave crime, the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Last month, Narottam Mishra, a minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh was stripped of his seat for indulging in ‘paid news’ and falsifying election returns. Yet both Bharti and Mishra remain in their posts. Narendra Modi congratulates Nitish Kumar for joining the fight against corruption which his principled stand against the continued presence of Tejashwi in his cabinet but says nothing about his own unprincipled failure to push for the ouster of BJP offenders. What does that tell us about where he stands on fighting corruption, one might well ask.


https://thewire.in/161925/nitish-bihar-resignation-lalu-tejashwi/

Rashmun

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