Trouble grips alliance as Nitish opposes BJP’s controversial issues

Patna: Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U) headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has opposed the three controversial issues of its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which include banning triple talaq, introduction of Uniform Civil Code and abrogation of Article 370, which confers special status on Jammu & Kashmir.

The move is being widely viewed as the growing hiatus between the two partners.

In the past nine months since the JD-U returned to the BJP, the former had been silent over the latter’s contentious issues. But this is for the first time that the JD-U has publicly disapproved BJP’s “agenda”, indicating both the coalition partners are on collision course.

“Our party’s stand over the issues of Uniform Civil Code and Article 370 remains unchanged. We always believe in the view that the Article 370 should stay as it is. We always believe that Uniform Civil Code should stay since it is a constitutional provision and was taken with due consideration,” Kumar who also heads the JD-U told an election rally in Karnataka on Sunday. The JD-U is contesting elections in 28 seats there.

According to him, he has already made his stand clear over these issues in a letter to the Legal Commission. At the same time, he also announced not to compromise over the issues of corruption and communalism and went on to the extent of saying that his party doesn’t believe in the political of confrontation.

This remark too assumes much political significance especially in the backdrop of the recent communal tension, which gripped around a dozen districts in Bihar this Ramnavami as the government had to really battle hard to restore normality. At many places, the BJP leaders were arrested for spreading communal tension.

The growing differences between the two partners can further be underlined from the fact that the JD-U has also revived the demand for granting Special Category status to Bihar, apparently finding that non-fulfilment of this long-pending demand could cost the party dear in the next elections given the fact that both the state and the centre have same government.

The issue got a fresh boost on Saturday at a meeting of all parties convened by the Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), especially the anger of the JD-U over centre’s failure to fulfil this demand stunned one and all.

“What is our fault? What crime have we committed? The Centre has no proper attention towards Bihar,” senior JD-U leader and parliamentarian RCP Singh, considered close to Nitish Kumar, told the meeting in Patna on Saturday.

“Clearly, injustice is being done to Bihar. We wonder why no commitment is being made for Bihar, as is being done for Andhra Pradesh. Bihar’s need for greater help is much more than the southern state,” Singh said. He also hit out at the Centre for forgetting Raghuram Rajan committee report that earlier had recommended priority to the backward states in granting special package and special status.

Of late, the chief minister himself has been frequently raising the demand at public forums. “Special Category status must be granted to Bihar put it on the path to progress and prosperity although the state is on development path on its own,” the chief minister said at a function in Nalanda district on April 30.


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