When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation drive on November 8, he expectedly received criticism from the Opposition. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the move draconian, while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal did what was expected of a socialist leader like him.
The Congress too criticised the move of the scrapping of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes. Yet JD(U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar praised the decision becoming the only opposition party leader to do so.
Those unaware of the political winds were surprised but it appears that Nitish Kumar’s praise of the PM’s decision had to do something with the future plans of the two parties in Bihar.
According to Hindi daily Navbharat Times, Kumar met Shah in Gurugram on November 1. After the meeting the two left for their respective appointments. There is no information as to what transpired in the meeting.
The report says that this meeting was set up by political strategist Prashant Kishor, who first helped BJP to power at the Centre in 2014 and then brought Nitish Kumar to power in Bihar the next year. Now, Kishor is serving as the strategist for Congress for the upcoming UP assembly election in 2017.
Congress is apparently not comfortable with the alliance. At the same time Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, the Grand Alliance member with the highest number of seats in the Bihar Assembly, has been criticised for a host of reasons ranging from governance to the release of criminal turned politician Mohammed Sahabuddin.
Just a few days ago, Nitish Kumar said, “Prime Minister Modi is now riding a tiger which could damage his alliances, but there’s great sentiment in favour of his move and we should respect that.” On the other hand Bihar Congress chief and education minister of the state Dr Ashok Choudhary made it clear that the mahagathbandhan will last till the “High Command” wants.