What will happen to Nitish Kumar if BJP decides to project Narendra Modi as its face in the next general elections? Will Nitish Kumar leave the NDA in that case and go along with Congress? Why Nitish Kumar is so allergic to Narendra Modi , is it only because of his image or there is something more than that? These are few questions which have been circulating for a long time among the political analysts and media circles.
According to my assessment this whole story has few other aspects which have been unnoticed from the eyes of political critiques. The rivalry of Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar has more connect with other issues rather than ideological conviction. Nitish Kumar is the person who came with the formation of NDA during the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpaee and he was few of coalition partners who supported BJP in the era when BJP was almost political untouchable for most of the political parties.
During the reign of Lalu Prasad Yadav in Bihar he was very much unchallenged and Nitish Kumar had the ambitions to reach to the top post in Patna but it was almost impossible for him to achieve his goal within secular alliance as his adversary Lalu Prasad Yadav was given the medal of champion of secularism once he arrested Lal Krishna Advani during his Rath yatra in Bihar and Nitish Kumar had no space for him in that group. Nitish Kumar explored other route and along with George Fernandez he sided with BJP. Since his beginning of the journey with BJP Nitish Kumar is very much aware of the ideology of the RSS and BJP and even he came with BJP after the incident of 1992 so it would be naïve to believe that Nitish Kumar has any kind of problem with the perception which BJP and RSS has among the people of the country.
The real story seems something else. Nitish Kumar is a long time ally of BJP and he has build cordial relations with RSS as well and he is very much aware of the internal dynamics of both these organizations. In 2007 when Narendra Modi second time won the elections in Gujarat with two third majority he did not have cordial relations with some of the constituents of Sangh Parivar and some of them tried hard to weaken his position but he outsmarted them and won comprehensively. Due to his win BJP along with RSS presumed his growing stature and all of a sudden BJP announced the candidature of L K Advani for the post of prime Minister from their side in the general elections of 2009.
Once BJP had not been able to form the government at centre in the leadership of L K Advani the preparations and maneuvering for the 2014 have started. Nitish Kumar was well aware the internal feud of Sangh Parivar on the matter of leadership and he also knew it very well that by the time of 2014 L K Advani will not be in the position to lead because of his old age.
This calculation for the future and his cordial relations with few senior BJP leaders along with RSS aggravated his ambitions to acquire the top post of the country as once he acquired the top post in Patna. By the time of the election results in Gujarat were not declared no one was sure about the political future of Narendra Modi and once he proved himself again the chorus of Modi for PM grows loud and louder.
Nitish Kumar has always been buffer for the leaders in BJP and RSS who want to stop the road of Modi.
More than BJP it is RSS who want Nitish Kumar more desperately. RSS want to shed its image of hardliner Hindu force and trying hard to win the goodwill of Muslims and to make it happen their senior leader Indresh Kumar is running an organization for nationalist Muslims. In this grand scheme of RSS Nitish Kumar suited more rather than Narendra Modi.
On the one hand Nitish Kumar gives more secular credibility to RSS on the other he attracts more socialist forces in the camp of the Hindu organization who want to build a permanent anti congress block to have its more say in national polity with the model of socialist and Hindutva coalition. As RSS also think that coalition era is going to remain for few years. But Modi represents the monopolized and centralized polity.
The voice of opposition for Narendra Modi from various corners is coming not only because of his perceptional image but because of his model of development which is his pro modern and swift. This model and working style does not suit with RSS which has built its organization for a long time with more apprehensive and skeptical outlook for modernity and swiftness.
Narendra Modi has developed his own vision and ideas on several issues which sometimes are in direct contrast with the world vision and ideas of RSS. But RSS is running out of choice either to support the most popular leader and fall in line who at least belongs to the fraternity of the Sangh Parivar but not sure how much Sanghi he will be once occupies the top post or to support a outsider who can give new horizons to organization among seculars, Muslims and socialist forces.
To conclude with if RSS has fewer options Nitish Kumar has lesser options. Once RSS decides to support Modi for the top post of the country, Nitish Kumar will have no choice other than to remain in NDA.