A series of recent political moves in Bihar has once again ignited speculations that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar might be considering switching sides and returning to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in less than two years after the controversial breakup with its saffron partner.
The Bihar CM indicated that he is contemplating parting ways with the Mahagathbandhan, which consists of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress party.
Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) has called a meeting of its MPs and MLAs on Sunday at the CM’s residence in Patna, leading to speculations of returning to the NDA alliance.
The BJP leaders also dropped major hints about Kumar’s reported discussions with the party’s senior leaders. Meanwhile, talking to reporters, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said, “No door is closed in politics. The door can be opened if needed.”
If this turns out to be true, the Janata Dal (United) boss will once again change the course of Bihar politics marking his fifth flip-flop in the past decade. This decision is expected to have a significant impact ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections and turn the stakes in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
On Friday, Kumar’s visit to the Raj Bhawan for the high tea and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav’s absence from the same event only fanned the fire. Amid such speculations, BJP ally and ex-CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s son Santosh Kumar Suman said that the Bihar government may fall in a day or two.
According to sources, Nitish Kumar is now hours from confirming re-allying with the BJP and cancelled all his engagements for Sunday. They said that the negotiations between the JD(U) and BJP are on in Bihar. Though Nitish is insistent on being the chief minister, BJP is making efforts to make Nitish understand that he shouldn’t be CM if they join hands.
However, the move did not come as a shock as indications were crystal clear. Kumar, who had earlier been vocal about his dissatisfaction with Congress’s conduct in the INDI alliance, openly refused to attend Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.’
While the strained relationship between state partners JDU and RJD has been quite visible for quite some time now, the final straw is reportedly a social media post on the Chief Minister by Lalu Yadav’s daughter, Rohini Acharya.
THE FINAL DAMAGE: INFAMOUS NITISH-RJD SOCIAL MEDIA CLASH
Tensions have reached a boiling point when Lalu Yadav’s daughter Rohini Acharya took a direct jab at Nitish Kumar. While she didn’t explicitly mention his name, the implications were clear and led to a heated exchange.
The situation unfolded when Acharya responded sharply to a comment about dynastic politics, igniting a firestorm of controversy. While she later deleted the posts, the damage had already been done.
Even though Nitish Kumar’s party clarified that his comments were not aimed at the RJD or its leader, Lalu Yadav, the fact that two of Lalu Yadav’s sons hold prominent positions in Nitish Kumar’s cabinet added fuel to the fire.
Reports suggested that BJP leaders had been instructed to refrain from targeting the JDU chief.
BHARAT RATNA FOR KARPOORI THAKUR
Notably, Nitish Kumar recently made headlines by taking a swipe at the Congress-led UPA government for not honouring socialist leader and former Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur with the Bharat Ratna, who has been conferred with the honour posthumously under the Modi government
NITISH KUMAR AND INDIA FUTURE
Owing to the turn of events, the future INDIA bloc, which is considered a brainchild of Nitish Kumar, also faces scrutiny. Despite his instrumental role in uniting these opposition parties, the bloc’s decision not to recognize Nitish Kumar as a potential candidate for Prime Minister has left him feeling miffed.
It was revealed that Kumar questioned the Congress’ focus on Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra, instead of working collaboratively with their allies to address seat allocation issues. Disagreements over seat division have emerged in states such as Bengal, Punjab, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh, making it a challenging task to prepare for the upcoming Lok Sabha poll campaigns.