Nitish's rhetoric has changed. Instead of development and growth, it is now a tale of backwardness and neglect by the Centre, by industry and so on. In Delhi recently, he paraded this backwardness, to ask for free or near-free central funds for Bihar. This was a bizarre argument: after all, in February this year, Bihar finance minister Sushil Modi presented a budget which showed that the government had a near-Rs 7,000-crore revenue surplus, which it had failed to spend.

The year before that, too, Bihar had a surplus of near-Rs 8,000 crore. In fact, in 2013, Sushil Modi was merely presenting his fourth revenue-surplus budget. So, for each of the last four years, the Bihar government had raised more money through taxes than it could spend. Why ask for more money if you can’t spend what you have? With the economy story fraying, Nitish is spinning secularism. To keep Muslims from migrating to the RJD in droves, he rails against Modi. Read More