Congress Overture To Nitish Is Meaningful

English: Nitish Kumar
English: Nitish Kumar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This shows a few things.

(1) The Congress is okay being a junior partner to Nitish, and that starts in Bihar. This is like Modi just lost 100 MPs.

(2) Laloo is no longer with the Congress. He does not have the Modi option. Which means he is now angling to join the Third Front. He has abandoned the Congress just like Paswan did. The Third Front just gained 5-10 MPs.

(3) Bihar getting Special Category Status will be monumental. It will give a major positive jolt to Nitish in Bihar.

Right now I see Nitish winning at least 20 seats in Bihar. 20 out of 40.

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi on course to win India's Prime Ministerial elections
Only the courageous make predictions about Indian elections. They have proved notoriously hard to call, partly because of unreliable data. In 2004, most expected Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to smoothly secure reelection. As it was, Sonia Gandhi led the Congress Party to a surprise victory...... Mr Modi’s victory is far from guaranteed. India’s parliament has 543 seats and for Mr Modi and his coalition allies to slip past the 272 mark will need him to perform in places where the BJP has traditionally not done well, especially in the south and east.... It is in these areas, particularly, that India’s increasingly powerful regional parties are pervasive. .... If Mr Kejriwal could win 30 or 40 seats, could that be enough to steal Mr Modi’s thunder. Could it even open the way for a so-called Third Front government? ...... If Mr Kejriwal could win 30 or 40 seats, could that be enough to steal Mr Modi’s thunder. Could it even open the way for a so-called Third Front government?
Wary of Lalu, Cong sounds out Nitish
the Bihar chief minister would need a dramatic offer, such as the grant of special status to the state, to revisit his plans after joining the third front with the Left and other regional parties..... There is no word from the Congress on the question of special status but the cabinet is holding an unscheduled meeting tomorrow evening. .... The strongest Congress candidates, like Shakeel Ahmed and Akhilesh Singh, have been denied their home constituencies of Madhubani and East Champaran (Motihari). ..... While Lalu Prasad felt Paswan had lost his magic, he was also angry when he came to know Paswan had suggested to Sonia Gandhi that the JD(U) was a better option than the RJD. .... Ironically, the JD(U) was Rahul Gandhi’s first choice but senior leaders pressured him to accommodate Lalu Prasad. The veterans thought the vice-president was being naïve in ignoring Lalu Prasad but now the party has egg on its face for hobnobbing with a convicted politician.
Congress-RJD talks sour, JD(U) steps in
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar apparently responded to the overtures, saying the UPA government and the Congress should make their stand clear on his plea for a special status to Bihar within 24 hours
Revealed: Why Lalu's MLAs walked out on him
the low-caste poorer Muslims -- called Pasmanda Musalman -- also found they were getting nothing from Lalu and decamped to Kumar. It is this caste-class base that prompted Nitish Kumar to break a two-decade-long friendship with the Bharatiya Janata Party -- because he knew that if he stayed in the company of the BJP and Narendra Modi, Lalu Prasad would wrest his Muslim following back from him..... latest evidence suggests that Kumar was right in breaking ties with the BJP: in the defection drama played out in Bihar last week, Members of Legislative Assembly who have crossed over from Lalu to Nitish Kumar and have opted to stay on with Kumar are almost all Muslim MLAs or MLAs representing constituencies that have a large Muslim population. .... It is rare to spot such a clear-thinking, resolute politician as Kumar. But even more rare is a set of sitting MLAs who are so desperate about what their electorate will say to them that they are ready to give up their seats in order to be in the right party (at last count, the number of MLAs who had crossed over from Lalu to Nitish had dwindled from 13 out of a total of 22 of Lalu’s men to four). ..... most of them felt that Lalu had lost his ability to rope in Muslims and now feel that by snapping ties with the BJP, Kumar is the only leader in Bihar to have any credibility among the minorities. ..... Akhtar ul Iman, for instance, who contested and won one of the assembly segments in the Kishanganj parliamentary constituency, which has 67.6 per cent Muslim population, has stayed on with JD-U. ..... while Yadavs continue to rally behind Lalu Prasad and are angry that their leader had to suffer the ignominy of incarceration, the Muslims are unmoved by this. Add to this the significant lifestyle change that electrification of rural Bihar has brought about and the talking point in Bihar is Nitish Kumar. ...... The upper castes still don’t like him. And Modi does represent aspirations of a section of Bihar society. But for many in the rural part of the state, Kumar’s promise that by 2015, villages with a population of just 100 people will also have access to electricity is aspirational. ..... By 2015, power supply in the state will reach 5,500 Mw. Right now, it is 3,000 Mw. Kumar’s ambition is to make Bihar power surplus by 2018-19. This is a far cry from the situation in 2005-06 when Bihar had 800 Mw available at its disposal out of which only 550 Mw reached domestic consumers owing to commitments to Nepal and the Indian railways. .... Kumar has spotted a secular trend and hopes that if the state provides the basics, young people, no matter what their caste or religion, will be able to leverage it to achieve great heights. It is this that Bihar will vote for in 2014 and 2015.
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