BJP blinks to Nitish Kumar’s brinkmanship


Photo Credit Twitter Narendra Modi

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, June 25: The office of the secretary general of the Rajya Sabha was packed with India’s most powerful politicians, including Prime Minister, on Friday when the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu filed her nomination paper.

Murmu was flanked by Modi on her right and the deputy leader of the Lok Sabha and the Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh, the number two in the Central government, on the left side.

The BJP chief J P Nadda sat beside Modi. The Union Minister for home affairs Amit Shah was on the side of Rajnath Singh.

The Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled states were adjusted on the second, thrird and the side rows, which also had the Union Ministers along with leaders of the NDA allies and the supporting partes, including the YSR Congress, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

The only non-BJP person to sit in the first row beside Nadda, within the earshot distance of Modi, was the leader of the JD (U) in the Lok Sabha Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar skipped the nomination paper filing ceremony, which is seen to be a show of strength of the ruling alliance in the past.

The Bihar Chief Minister, sources said, had no pressing engagements in Patna that would have warranted him to skip the function.

Modi had, however, spoken to Kumar on phone after the BJP had announced Murmu’s nomination for the Presidential election.

The Bihar Chief Minister had flashed a couple of tweets to count the merits of Murmu while announcing support of the party for her. That was predictable, since the JD (U) wouldn’t have ventured to vote against a tribal candidate, who is a woman, the core electoral constituency of the JD (U).

But Lalan Singh gravely sat in the first row in a coveted position, and even Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had to sit in the second row.

Now Lalan Singh only a few day ago was fielded by the Bihar Chief Minister to demonstrate his ease with brinkmanship in alliance politics.

The Bihar unit BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal, after getting enhanced security from the Centre, had launched into a tirade against the JD (U), blaming the state administration for having stood as mute spectators while the arsonists and protesters agitating against the Agnipath scheme torched coaches of trains, attacked houses of the party leaders and damaged government properties.

Lalan Singh afterwards had launched in no-holds barred attack against the Bihar BJP chief.

“Sanjay Jaiswal may have lost his mental balance. What does he want? Should the police have fired upon the protesters? Why such arsonists aren’t fired upon by the police in the BJP-ruled states,” Lallan Singh had said in a presser.

After the exit of the Union Minister RCP Singh from the list of the close confidantes, Lalan Singh is known in the media to be the eyes and ears of Nitish Kumar and also his voice.

That barrage by Lalan Singh wasn’t challenged by the Bihar BJP leader.

The BJP top brass read the signs that the Bihar Chief Minister cannot be further provoked.


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