In Bihar, all eyes are on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as he makes a push for opposition unity and seeks a national role for himself. But as he enters this political arena, observers are questioning whether his own house is in order.
Kumar, who has been in power for more than 15 years, faces several challenges as he tries to position himself as a national leader. He recently dissolved the state assembly and is now focused on the upcoming elections, where he hopes to form a coalition government. But his efforts may face several roadblocks as he navigates the complex political landscape in Bihar.
The state has seen a lot of political churn in recent years. In the 2015 elections, Kumar’s alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) emerged victorious. But the alliance ended abruptly in 2017, when Kumar walked out and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
This move left the opposition in disarray, and many of Kumar’s allies were left out in the cold. Kumar’s relationship with the BJP has not been without hiccups either. In the past, BJP leaders have been critical of Kumar’s policies, and the two parties have had to navigate several tricky issues.
But despite these challenges, Kumar has managed to stay in power thanks to his political astuteness. He has been able to balance the interests of his various allies and has emerged as a key figure in Bihar’s political landscape. However, the upcoming elections will put his skills to the test once again.
Kumar’s biggest challenge is the rise of Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in Bihar. The party has a significant presence in the state, and its entry into the fray has added a new dimension to Bihar politics.
Kumar and his allies are now faced with the task of countering Owaisi’s growing influence, without alienating the Muslim voters who form a key support base for the opposition. This delicate balancing act is likely to be one of the defining features of the upcoming elections.
Another challenge for Kumar is the emergence of young leaders like Chirag Paswan and Tejashwi Yadav. Paswan is the son of former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and heads the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), while Yadav is the son of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and leads the RJD.
Both Paswan and Yadav are seen as upcoming leaders who could play a significant role in Bihar politics in the coming years. Kumar’s challenge will be to address their concerns and keep them within the fold, while also asserting his own leadership.
Despite these challenges, Kumar remains a key player in Bihar politics. His astuteness and ability to navigate the tricky waters of the state’s political landscape will be put to the test once again in the upcoming elections. But regardless of the outcome, it is clear that his role in Bihar politics will continue to be a significant one.