Patna: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has landed in trouble for allegedly adopting different yardsticks for government formation in different Indian states.
In a curious turn of events, the main opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar has urged the President to dismiss the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar and invite the former to form new government in Bihar, citing the similar ground upon which the BJP was asked to form the government in Karnataka.
The RJD which won 80 seats in the House is the single largest party in Bihar. Yet unlike Karnataka where BJP was invited by the Governor to form the government as it was the single largest party, RJD’s demand for government formation in Bihar on similar grounds was rejected by the Governor in July last year. Instead, the Governor invited Janata Dal United (JD-U)-BJP combine — which had fought against each other in 2015 state polls — to form the government.
What was further interesting, the JD-U headed by Kumar joined the NDA well over a fortnight after he formed new government with the BJP after breaking away from the erstwhile ruling Grand Alliance which was voted to power. The Grand Alliance comprising the RJD, JD-U and the Congress had together bagged 178 seats in 243-member Bihar assembly against 58 won by the NDA. The BJP alone had won a meagre 53 seats despite intensive campaigns by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who addressed close to 30 election rallies.
“If the single largest party (in Karnataka) is being invited in spite of INC (Indian National Congress) JDS (Janata Dal Secular) alliance having more numbers than required, then we demand honourable President to dismiss Bihar government and invite the single largest party of Bihar to form the government as Bihar,” said RJD leader and Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav.
He said he would meet the Bihar governor along with all the party lawmakers at 1pm Friday, seeking invitation to form the government since “we are the single largest party in Bihar”.
He wondered over the way the BJP was adopting different yardsticks in different states for government formation. “Either what they (BJP) did in Karnataka is true or their act in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya is right. Both can’t be true at the same time,” said Tejashwi, adding he was staking claim to form the government in Bihar on the basis of the explanation given by the BJP. The BJP, it may noted here, formed governments in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya despite not winning the majority or emerging as the single largest party.
He also announced he would stage a daylong protest in Patna on Friday to protest what he described as “murder of democracy” in Karnataka. He said the BJP has made a mockery of democracy. “There shouldn’t be two yardsticks for similar case in democracy,” he asked.
The Congress which is part of the Grand Alliance too supported the demand of the RJD. “The Grand Alliance led by the RJD should be given the chance to form government in Bihar on the same ground which is being cited by the BJP to form government in Karnataka,” state Congress chief Kaukab Qadari told the media on Thursday.
He termed the act of Karnataka governor as complete “Gundagardi” (rowdism) saying they would hold state nationwide protests over the issue.
Senior socialist leader and former JD-U parliamentarian Sharad Yadav also demanded the RJD be invited to form the government in Bihar on the basis of “Karnataka formula”.
“If Yeddyurappa was invited to form government on the ground of BJP emerging as the single largest in Karnataka, then why not RJD given similar chance (by the Governor) in Bihar?” asked Yadav, adding the nation would not tolerate the “unethical” move of the BJP.