Wednesday, February 8, 2012

India's two parties at loggerheads over UP polls

Manoj Chaurasia
The Statesman
Publication Date : 08-02-2012

After seven years of bonhomie, the JD-U and the BJP are fighting openly and bitterly over encashing the “Bihar turnaround” story in Uttar Pradesh, where the partners in Bihar's ruling coalition are pitched against each other.

The JD-U, in particular, has taken exception to remarks by some top BJP leaders during the election campaigning, which show the party in a poor light. Stung by the remarks, the JD-U has warned of serious consequences in Bihar if the BJP leaders did not mind their language in Uttar Pradesh, and stop making “irresponsible statements”. The problem began after both parties tried to take credit for "Bihar turnaround," each claiming it was the "real" architect of the “new Bihar," in an attempt to woo voters. What is said to have really sown the seeds of bitterness in their relations was a string of remarks by BJP leaders that the JD-U saw as against the tenets of coalition dharma.

The BJP's LK Advani and party spokesman Shahanwaz Husain have blamed the alliance with JD-U during the last Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections - when the parties fought together - for the BJP's falling vote share. Another senior BJP leader and party MP, Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, has been quoted as saying that the "JD-U has no presence in UP".

"While, on the one hand, the BJP has gone on constantly targeting us, on the other it takes claim for the Bihar turnaround," said the state JD-U spokesman Niraj Kumar. "What is even stranger is that the party promises to implement the 'Bihar model' in UP if given the mandate, without naming Nitish Kumar, who is the real architect of the new Bihar. The 'Bihar Model’ means Nitish Kumar and no one else." Kumar continued: "If the JD-U has no base in UP, why then is the BJP busy publicising the Nitish model? Why is it refraining from publicising its own models - the Narendra Modi model, the Shivraj Singh Chauhan model, or Raman Singh model?”
Senior BJP leader and Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi played down the issue, saying there appears to have been some sort of "misunderstanding between us, which will be sorted out soon amicably".

He said no BJP leaders spoke against the JD-U during the election campaign, and criticised the media for distorting facts.

Meanwhile, the chief minister said that the parties' competition in Uttar Pradesh would have no bearing on their alliance in Bihar.

The RJD, however, which is the main opposition party in Bihar, has mocked the partners for fighting over who should take credit for the "Bihar turnaround." "Where is the turnaround?" asked the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, a senior RJD leader.

"This is only on the paper, far from the reality." Siddiqui described the ongoing fight between the NDA partners as the outcome of "opportunistic politics". “They have stuck together just to be in power. They have nothing to do with the politics based on principles or social service. Their relations are bound to collapse today or tomorrow."

No comments:

Post a Comment