Photo finish
Jaspal Bhatti

When Mukesh and Anil Ambani are photographed together, their shareholders rejoice and the stocks rise. On the contrary, a photograph showing Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi holding hands, has stolen Nitish’s sleep. He seems to be pleading to the BJP, “For goodness sake, don’t show too much closeness when elections are round the corner.” 

In a fit of nervousness, Nitish returned a cheque of Rs 5 crore, which was given by the Modi government to the Nitish government as a relief fund for Kosi floods. Does Nitish think that this Rs 5 crore was looted from the Muslims in Gujarat to be distributed in Bihar? A bad calculation, indeed, for which Nitish drew flak from all corners. Instead of a Rs 5-crore cheque, if Modi had posed for another photograph with him and Nitish scuffling and tearing at each others’ shirts, it would have been of greater help to Nitish.

It is not a bad idea for Nitish to part ways with the BJP for the time being, and to polarise the voters on pro-Modi and anti-Modi lines. After the elections, they can again form a coalition government, serve the state of Bihar jointly and resume their friendship song “Yeh dosti…toote na.” For the time being, Nitish has asked for extra security cover. Somebody asked him, “Sir, some new threat to life?” Nitish replied, “No, it is because Modi might not get another photograph clicked with me with his arm around my neck!”