Even the normally pompous Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad sounded even more so when he declared, “Hum rishta nibhana jaante hain” (In the BJP we know how to maintain relationships) while reiterating that Nitish Kumar, the battered JD(U) leader, would head the NDA Government in the state again.
Other BJP leaders have also been quick to reiterate that though BJP is the second largest party in the ruling alliance, having won over 30 more seats than JD(U) in the Assembly, it would be cut-to-size Nitish Kumar who would be the chief minister. Even Amit Shah had said as much before the election that whatever be the number of seats won, Nitish Kumar would be the chief minister.
But while BJP pretends to be magnanimous, it has no option but to accept the JD(U) leader as the CM. For one thing, without the 43 MLAs of JD(U), it cannot form the Government in the state. And secondly, it would not like to risk making a change before the West Bengal Assembly election. If BJP wins in West Bengal, as it believes it will, it will then see if it can put a BJP MLA or non-MLA as chief minister and someone from JD(U) as his Deputy.
That the party does it with a straight face, after stabbing Nitish Kumar in the back, speaks volumes about its ruthlessness, more than double standards. Neither before, during or after the election have BJP leaders condemned Chirag Paswan, who had predicted that Nitish Kumar would land in jail after the election. Not a word of reprimand has escaped the lips of the BJP President J.P. Nadda or Home Minister Amit Shah though it was Chirag Paswan’s LJP, which put up candidates against JD(U), not BJP, and helped reduce JD(U)’s tally in the House.