A day after BJP leaders stayed away from the Dussehra function at Patna's Gandhi Maidan amid rumblings of political discontent, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav today zeroed in on a month-old tweet by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi to question the stability of the ruling alliance.
In the tweet posted on September 11, Sushil Kumar Modi had used cricketing terms to project Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the indisputed leader of the Janata Dal United-BJP coalition in Bihar ahead of the 2020 state elections. "Nitish Kumar is the Captain of the NDA in Bihar and will remain its Captain in the next assembly elections in 2020 also. When the Captain is hitting 4s and 6s and defeating rivals by innings, where is the question of any change?" he had asked.
However, a lot has changed since then. Last month, Patna was visited by a relentless downpour that caused floods in many areas and killed nearly 30 people. In the blame-game that followed, Nitish Kumar found himself at the receiving end of stinging barbs from his coalition partners.
Tejashwi Yadav, a former cricketer himself, interpreted this as a sign of "captain" Nitish Kumar being abandoned by his teammates in the middle of a crisis. "Hello Mr Vice Captain, your helpless Captain is alone in the field. Ur faithful colleagues are getting him bowled and run out. Why have you run away to hide like a criminal? It's okay to be rescued. It wouldn't have been easy for you to boycott CM's Dussehra programme, isn't it?" he tweeted.
Nitish Kumar, Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Choudhari and State Congress president Madan Mohan Jha were among the only important political personalities to attend the event. The fact that Governor Phagu Chauhan, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, BJP legislators and Patna Mayor Sita Sahu were all present in the city made it look like a particularly deliberate move.
"Everyone was invited and they used to come, but today no one turned up from BJP... we had no prior information on their likely absence," Kamal Nopani, a member of the trust that held the event, said.
The BJP faction that took on Nitish Kumar following the deluge was led by Union Minister Giriraj Singh, who represent Bihar's Begusarai constituency in the Lok Sabha. Sources in the party have indicated that the faction hopes to dislodge Nitish Kumar as the face of the NDA in the state.
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