Will Bihar see a political realignment in the run-up to the polls? Even the most perspicacious of “weather scientists” would desist from hazarding a guess. But here’s how things have unfolded. With the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, and other smaller parties struggling to get their act together, the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led ruling coalition was expected to trot to a comfortable win in the coming Assembly elections. But the father-son leadership of Ram Vilas Paswan and Chirag Paswan
of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has thrown a spanner in the works by demanding more seats. Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), is upset at the younger Paswan for taking potshots at Kumar, even suspecting that a section within the Bharatiya Janata Party, the JD(U)’s key ally, has stitched him up for the job. It is also not amenable to the LJP’s demand for more seats. Meanwhile, all isn’t well in the opposition camp. Leaders of smaller parties, including Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha, have reservations about accepting the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as the leader of the coalition.