The post-poll politics within the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar would take another turn as two types of demands have started surfacing. The first one is the demand from some lower and middle level functionaries of the Bharatiya Janata Party that chief minister Nitish Kumar should give up his post on the moral ground as his party has won only 42 seats against the saffron party’s tally of 74.
Obviously, this demand would never come from the top leadership, but if the middle rung leaders are voicing this view they are not doing on their own. To counter this pressure tactic the Janata Dal (United) is putting up its own demand. It would certainly want the Lok Janshakti Party ousted from the NDA at the national level. Though the working president of the Janata Dal (United) Ashok Chaudhary ruled out that his party would be raising any such demand as the LJP is already out from Bihar NDA, what he left unsaid is more important.
The LJP has six MPs and is supporting the Narendra Modi government. Though this support does not matter at all as the BJP and its allies have brute majority in the Lok Sabha, yet if a section of the BJP was really using the LJP to weaken Nitish Kumar that lobby would certainly not want Chirag Paswan to be punished.
The young LJP chief has a long innings to play and with over five per cent of votes in such an adverse situation in which his party contested 143 seats alone, leaving him in the lurch by the BJP would not amount to playing good politics. So at least one faction within the BJP would not like to isolate the LJP as business can be done with it in the future.
But for the Janata Dal (United) dumping the LJP has become a prestige issue as even deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, the most prominent face of the BJP in Bihar, has conceded that the LJP has played a crucial role in ensuring the defeat of at least 20 Janata Dal (United) candidates. Had this not happened the NDA tally would have crossed 150.As Sushil Modi has emerged much stronger after the victory his role would be more significant. It is other thing that he does not enjoy the blessings of some of the top leaders of his own party because of his very close proximity to Nitish.