NEW DELHI :
Just months ahead of the assembly elections, Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar is facing a new challenge, after its own allies questioned it on the issue of reverse migration, unemployment and covid-19 management.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJSP), despite being a part of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar, has raised questions on the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar as it doubts if it is a good idea to hold assembly elections amid covid-19 outbreak and floods in the state. The LJSP parliamentary board is scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss key issues about the upcoming assembly polls.
“For 15 years Nitish Kumar has been in power and has led the state, maybe it is time to change the chief minister. Why can’t someone from BJP become chief minister of Bihar? We have covid-19 and state government has completely failed to meet the challenge. For 15 years, the health infrastructure has suffered. We are in alliance but reserve the right to raise questions in a democracy,” said a senior LJSP leader, who is part of the parliamentary board, the highest decision-making body of the party.
Senior leaders of LJSP also point out that during the nationwide lockdown when migrants from different parts of the country returned to Bihar, their home state, the government couldn’t provide relief to its own people.
“First these migrant workers had to walk back, they lost their job and the state government has failed to provide any relief to them. We are only demanding these workers should get employment in their own villages or cities. Why should they go to other states? Our motto is development and there is a need to focus on development in Bihar,” the LJSP leader said.
Acknowledging that there were problems within LJSP and Janata Dal (United) or JDU which is led by chief minister Nitish Kumar, senior leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) feel that there is a threat to the alliance as all three partners gear up for the assembly elections.
“We have started the seat sharing talks and that is why LJSP leaders are making such statements. They want greater share in the seat sharing formula but it is also true that the relations between JDU and LJSP is not as good as it used to be. LJSP leaders have a lot of complaints against Kumar and JDU,” said a senior BJP leader.