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Caste census & eye on 2024 led to friction between JD(U) and BJP in Bihar

IANS | August 09, 2022 04:34 PM

NEW DELHI: Caste census acted as a catalyst in uniting the Bihar-based OBC parties, the script of which was written in April-May when both -- RJD and JD(U)-- advocated for it.

Both the parties thriving on OBC politics could not ignore such a significant issue and the hints were clear when Nitish Kumar started skipping Prime Minister's meetings, the latest being the NITI Aayog.

But the other factor is that in the next General elections the BJP was trying to assert itself at the cost of its alliance partner the JD(U). This led to the parting of ways as an insider said that JDU and the RJD could not stop the BJP's rise in the state.

It all started in May when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called an all-party meeting to discuss the caste-based census.

"We want to discuss each and every issue related to caste-based census. The leaders of different political parties will give their suggestions, which will be of great help, " he had said.

However, the BJP supported the move with a rider and raised concerns about the minority community taking advantage of the census.

Nitish has been off and on hobnobbing with RJD to control the BJP but after the latter decided to tighten its grip and a series of programmes were organised, the JD(U) felt uneasy and decided to move away. However, it was Nitish who had dumped the RJD Congress combine to reunite with the BJP.

In the political activity in Patna, the Congress and Left parties handed over the lists of their legislators to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav.

Even as the meeting of RJD, which was taking place at Rabri Devi's residence here, was going on, legislators from the Congress and Left parties also reached there and handed over their lists to Tejashwi Yadav.

Mandan Mohan Jha, the state president of Congress said: "We will support Nitish Kumar if he leaves the BJP and forms a new government with the help of Mahagathbandhan. We have also given the list of all 19 MLAs of our party to RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav."

Mahboob Alam, the MLA of CPI (ML) said: "We have also given the list to Tejashwi Yadav. We will uproot the BJP from power. We are giving support to Nitish Kumar for the formation of a new government."

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is working with the 'plan of 2013' to sack all 16 ministers of the BJP in the name of cabinet expansion and include leaders of RJD and Congress. Left parties have reportedly decided to support Nitish Kumar government from outside and not take share in the cabinet.

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