I, PROMISCUOUS: Power and the Improbable Amorality of Nitish Kumar

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I, PROMISCUOUS: Power and the Improbable Amorality of Nitish Kumar

Post by Rashmun on Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:08 am

His first chosen partner was, believe you me, the CPI(ML). His current chosen partner is a BJP as approximate to the RSS as it can get. Between them, Nitish Kumar has run the entire political spectrum, picking this one, ditching that one, in the pursuit and possession of power - from the provincial rogue called the Bihar People's Party to national players like the Congress and the Left, each seduced at one time or another to afford him his embrace of the chair.

Nitish's record of serial dalliance and ditchery springs from good reason, though. For, if power has been the central theme of Nitish's career, the inability to secure it on his own is its central truth. Astounding as it may sound, the man who is in his third successive term as chief minister and who for a good while fancied himself as prime minister in waiting, has never won his home state singly. At his best he never had enough to propel him anywhere close to office; 17 per cent, never more. He needed booster feeds, he always needed an ally. Not a fanciful token as the CPI(ML) in 1995 - that effort fetched him the princely Assembly tally of seven of 324 seats in pre-Jharkhand Bihar - but a significant, bankable one.

He found not one but two.

Both would be handed good reason, at different junctures, to believe our chosen headline sits aptly on the man. For he has, at different junctures, found reason to kiss, then kick both.

It's fair to reckon he's not done with them yet; nor they with him. The guillotine-drop on Lalu Prasad mid-week and the immediate garlanding of Narendra Modi is by no means the last that's been heard of Nitish Kumar in their annals. Not too far ago in the past, it was Modi under Nitish's guillotine-drop, and Lalu the one getting the garland. There are scores here that await settlement....

The second is an episode from the Lok Sabha campaign of 2009. Nitish is chief minister of Bihar and one of the key constituents of the NDA. L.K. Advani is leading the campaign and one of the biggest shows is to be staged at Ludhiana, courtesy the Akalis. Invitations have gone out to leaders of all constituent parties. But Nitish is reluctant to go. The reason: he does not want to share the stage with Narendra Modi, then his Gujarat counterpart. He requests his party president, Sharad Yadav, to go instead. But a couple of days before the rally, Arun Jaitley calls Nitish with a personal request from Advani. Nitish does not commit himself immediately. But Advani presses on and eventually he relents. The deal is he'll make a short and clinical appearance, just to keep Advani's request. He flies into Chandigarh from Patna on a chartered aircraft and takes a car to Ludhiana. He has for company Sanjay Jha, a Jaitley acolyte who has begun to liaison between the JDU and BJP and who Nitish has grown very fond of. The Akalis have planned the Ludhiana rally Punjabi-style - a big, boisterous affair with drums beating, swords ceremonially flashing, bhangra troupes flexing about. Nitish is probably too taken by the merry commotion to see the prospect he most feared hotfooting it in his direction. He has barely set foot on the crowded podium when Narendra Modi scampers down to him from the far end and holds his hand aloft for the entire crowd to see.

A cheer goes up, that must have, at the time, buzzed like an irritable fly in Nitish's ears. Cameras pop and Nitish feels like he has been shot. It is all over in a trice. Before Nitish has recovered his wits, Modi has left him and retreated to his appointed place. When Nitish gets back into the car with Sanjay Jha, he lavishes him with a hot mouthful. He is fuming. He says: " Isiliye yahan laaye thhe? Aap jaante thhe kya hone waala hai, provoke kiya gaya hai mujhe aur aapne mujhe phansaaya... Is this why you brought me here? You knew this was going to happen. I have been provoked and you snared me here for this." Jha tries stuttering an explanation, if only to pacify Nitish, but Nitish is in no mood to listen. " Sab deliberate hai, design hai, kal akhbar mein wohi photo chhapega jo uss aadmi ne mera haath pakadke zabardasti khichwaya. Iss tarah ki rajneeti ke main sakht khilaaf hoon... All of this is deliberate, part of a design. Tomorrow's newspapers will carry the very picture which that man forcefully held my hand for. I am strongly opposed to politics of this kind..." Sanjay Jha is stunned; he hasn't yet realised the depth of Nitish's aversion towards Modi. When the photograph is front-paged across the dailies the next morning, Jha tells himself he may have made a mistake.

What follows soon after is a spilling out of the Nitish-Modi feud. Modi arrives in Patna in June 2010 for the party's national executive advertising his Rs 5 crore aid to Bihar for flood relief. Nitish is furious beyond measure. " Yeh kaisi sabhyata hai, daan dekar koi usko vigyapit karta hai? Yeh Bihar ka apmaan hai... What kind of culture is this, does a donor advertise his donation? This is an insult to Bihar." He makes a public point of scrapping his dinner invitation to the arrived BJP brass. He later makes peace with the party, but his war with Modi simmers on. In June 2013, as Modi's candidacy for prime ministership becomes imminent, he junks the BJP. " Rajneeti mein kuchh cheezen satta aur sarkar se upar hoti hain... There are some things in politics that are above power and government," he proclaims, and says of Modi: "Iss insaan ka naam sunkey desh ke kadodon alp sankhyakon mein bhay or sandeh ka mahaul ban jata hai. Iss aadmi ke saath samjhauta nahin ho sakta... This man's name invokes fear and suspicion in the millions of minorities of this country. There can be no compromise with this man."

Four years later, or earlier this week, Nitish dissolved his reservations over Modi and thanked him profusely for agreeing to support him as partner in power. His conscience had called, he said, and told him he could not go on working with Lalu anymore.

What a wondrous beast of bidding a conscience on call is.


https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170730/jsp/7days/story_164524.jsp

Rashmun

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Re: I, PROMISCUOUS: Power and the Improbable Amorality of Nitish Kumar

Post by Rashmun on Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:01 am

Nitish Kumar has never won Bihar singly.

He has, in fact, never won without a significant bankable ally. When he tied up with the CPI(ML) in 1995 and attempted his first overthrow of Laloo Yadav, he was tossed out by the electorate – he got a mere seven seats in the Bihar assembly. It was not until he tied up with the BJP and persevered another decade that he was finally able to turf Laloo Yadav out of power and become chief minister.

When he was trounced in the 2014 LokSabha polls by Narendra Modi’s BJP, he may well have been reminded of his 1995 rout. He had left himself single yet again by breaking with the BJP in mid-2013; he was blown in the Modi wind.

It cannot be Nitish was unaware of the risk he was taking in severing ties with a reliable seventeen-year-old ally. But his revulsion of Modi and his brand of politics ran so deep, he left himself no option. “I cannot work with this man,” he told me repeatedly in the months before and after the break-up, “Everything cannot be measured in terms of electoral gain on loss, the battle against Narendra Modi goes beyond merely electoral battles, it is a battle of ideas.”


https://scroll.in/article/845142/is-this-the-final-break-between-nitish-and-laloo-history-may-hold-a-lesson

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Re: I, PROMISCUOUS: Power and the Improbable Amorality of Nitish Kumar

Post by Rashmun on Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:02 pm

Nitish kumar is in habit of resigning citing high moral ground & then joining govt within months.Why this drama of resignation every time?

https://twitter.com/SushilModi/status/565830877632946176

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