Nitish Is Hurt
|English: Nitish Kumar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
"If Naveen's BJD and Jayalalithaa's AIADMK could fetch 44% votes each to bag 20 of the 21 LS seats in Odisha and 37 of the 39 LS seats in Tamil Nadu respectively, why was JD (U) trounced despite the fact that I have worked no less hard to better things in Bihar?"'Hurt' Nitish unlikely to leave Bihar for BJP
Sources close to the CM said Nitish was bitterly baffled at the way the voters rejected him in the just-concluded parliamentary election despite all the "hard work" he has done to put the once-BIMARU state on the rails of development. He is citing the examples of J Jayalalithaa, Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee, who won the election impressively for their respective party in their respective states despite the NaMo wave.Nitish is hurt. He deserved as good if not better than Jayalalita, Patnaik and Mamata. But the consumer is always right, the voter is always right. That is one of the laws of politics.
Bihar and UP make up the Hindi heartland and by definition are the most contested states in the country. That is not true of Tamilnadu, Orissa, and West Bengal. It is like real estate in the city center is more expensive than in the outskirts.
Nitish ditching Modi did not go well with the voters. Nitish made it sound like he would accept Advani for the PM post, but not Modi. Why would that be? Is it because Advani is secular? Really? The Ram Mandir Rath Yatra Advani? Advani as PM would have given India its traditional "Hindu rate of growth," something below 5%. Modi is a better modern technocrat. To say the BJP was okay, but Modi was not sounded like words coming out of a confused mind.
The better proposition would have been to claim he was better than Modi, and to have waged a national campaign to that end.
If Nitish had swept Bihar with 35 out of its 40 seats, then Modi would still have been Prime Minister. The NDA would still have had a majority.
It is not like Nitish lost to something or somebody minor. Modi only waged the most brilliant election campaign India has seen to date. The contest was for the top job in Delhi. Modi was running. Nitish was not running. And so Modi won because he was the only one running for the top job. Not even Rahul was officially running.
Now the best option for Nitish is to engineer a JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar and also a SP-BSP-Congress alliance in UP. And shoot for 2018. If the JD(U), RJD, SP, BSP, and Congress can sweep Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, they can have Delhi. But it is not just about alliance building. It is more about development, that thing that Nitish knows a ton about. The only way you can beat Modi is by outdoing him on development. Alliance building alone will not do the trick.
The center of gravity in Indian politics still lies in the Hindi heartland.
Expressing personal hurt is not going to work. Jayalalita, Patnaik and Mamata did not wage frontal attacks on Modi. Nitish did. But it came across as impulsive, rather than a thought out plan to offer a credible alternative.
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