New Delhi, Sep 21 (PTI) The BJP has little room for flexibility in Bihar unlike the JD(U) and has to stick with Nitish Kumar, accepting him as the bigger partner in the state, claims a new book.
In 'The Battle for Bihar', journalist Arun Sinha tells the intertwined stories of poll-bound Bihar's political theatre and Nitish's rule.
He says Bihar is currently divided into three political estates: the BJP, the JD(U) and the RJD.
'The BJP has farmed the plantations of upper castes and banias; the JD(U) of the economically backward classes and mahadalits; and the RJD of the Yadavs and Muslims. The JD(U) has its estate in the middle, with a flexibility to level up the fence on either side and emerge as the winner with a combined harvest,' he says.
'The BJP has no room for such flexibility. It could combine with the RJD only as self-destructively as fire could with water. It, therefore, has to stick with Nitish, and keep him in good humour by accepting him as the bigger partner in Bihar,' Sinha writes in the book, published by Penguin Random House.
The author says the JD(U) and the BJP are like 'beasts of two different species living in the same den: they prayed together but worshipped separately; they hunted together but ate separately; they fought together but weaponised separately. They acted to strengthen each other but worked to weaken each other'.
According to him, senior JD(U) leaders say they were wary that the BJP, with the RSS grassroots organisation behind it, was better equipped to ensure the success of the maximum number of its candidates, as well as to cause the defeat of some JD(U) candidates by undermining their support in order to come out with a larger number.
Though it has been the BJP's dream to have a chief minister of the party in Bihar, the national BJP leadership wants to handle the subject with care, the book says.
'Despite the desire within a section of the state BJP to fight elections on its own, the leadership has not been very warm to the idea, as there is nobody in the party's state unit who has the stature, worthiness and popularity to swing the electorate in the party's favour,' it says.
'The state's politics is dominated by backward castes and the BJP has no charismatic leader to choose from. The choice before the BJP's national leadership is limited to dependence on Nitish, and that tips the scale in his favour,' it further says. PTI ZMN RDS RDS