August 10, 2020
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A Rupture Hidden In Samata's Bleeding Heart

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A Rupture Hidden In Samata's Bleeding Heart
Samata leader and Union railways minister Nitish Kumar is mystified and shocked at the spate of reports appearing in the media suggesting differences between him and defence minister George Fernandes, who also happens to be the Samata president. "Delhi is a place of endless speculation and I have no clue as to who could be behind these reports," Nitish told Outlook.

The railways minister said that as far as the Samata is concerned, the division of labour is clear. "I concern myself only with Bihar, while George saab looks after the rest of the country." Samata remains basically a Bihar-based party and Nitish’s importance can be gauged from the fact that Fernandes himself has been winning from Nalanda, the constituency adjacent to Nitish’s Barh, and the latter’s support base has been one of the reasons for Fernandes’ electoral success from central Bihar. Will Fernandes change his constituency, as some media reports say? "I’ve also read it in the newspapers. There’s no such move, as far as I know," Nitish said. On attacks launched by some Samata dissidents like Brahmananda Mandal from Bihar, Nitish says: "Anyone can say anything, even if they don’t have a mass base," says the former engineer who took to politics in the heyday of the JP movement. Though he has distanced himself from reports suggesting differences in the higher echelons of Samata, speculation about groupism within continues.

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