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Business News/ Politics / Why Nitish Kumar left INDIA bloc to rejoin BJP-led NDA

Why Nitish Kumar left INDIA bloc to rejoin BJP-led NDA

Bihar politics: Is the Congress to be blamed for Nitish Kumar's departure from the Opposition's INDIA bloc? The JD(U) returned to the BJP-led NDA on Sunday and is set to form a new Bihar government by the evening.

Bihar politics: Janata Dal (United) President Nitish Kumar tenders his resignation as the Chief Minister of Bihar to State Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, at Raj Bhavan, in Patna on Sunday. (ANI)Premium
Bihar politics: Janata Dal (United) President Nitish Kumar tenders his resignation as the Chief Minister of Bihar to State Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, at Raj Bhavan, in Patna on Sunday. (ANI)

In an unexpected turn of events, Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar quit as the Bihar Chief Minister on Sunday. He is now all set to form the state government in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners.

Kumar severed ties with Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) on Sunday. He had formed the government in Bihar in alliance with the RJD and other Left parties in 2022. 

Follow Bihar politics LIVE Updates here

Nitish Kumar was also a key figure in the Opposition's INDIA bloc. His departure from INDIA is expected to impact the alliance of 28 Opposition parties just ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.

But what had prompted Nitish Kumar to leave the INDIA bloc and join the NDA, even when in 2023 he had reportedly said, "Mar jaana qabool hai lekin unke (BJP) saath jaana humko kabhi qabool nahin hai (I'd rather die than tie up with them)".

While informing about his resignation and decision to dissolve the Bihar Assembly, Nitish Kumar said on Sunday that this situation unfolded as "not everything was alright".

Congress to be blamed?

JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi blamed the Congress for the collapse of the INDIA bloc in Bihar. He told ANI that Congress leaders were interested in strengthening their party and not the opposition grouping.

Tyagi told reporters that a "caucus" within the Congress wanted to capture the INDIA bloc leadership. He even alleged that Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's name was proposed as the chairperson of the grouping as part of the conspiracy.

ALSO READ: What numbers in Bihar Assembly look like after Nitish Kumar switches alliance

"The decision taken about Kharge at the INDIA bloc meeting earlier this month had shocked the JD(U), which believed that its president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be named as the convenor without being saddled with any chairperson," JD(U) leaders had then said as per news agency ANI.

Last month, Nitish Kumar rejected the post of INDIA convenor during a key meeting of the alliance partners. On Saturday, Tyagi had even accused a section of the Congress leadership of repeatedly "insulting" Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Besides, Tyagi also objected to Mallikarjun Kharge's name being proposed as INDIA's prime minister's face in the meeting that took place in Mumbai. This happened even as "it was unanimously decided that INDIA will work without any PM face", Tyagi said.

Another JD(U) spokesperson Rajib Ranjan described the Congress as "bhasmasur" (mythological demon whose touch would burn down anyone).

Delay in seat-sharing talks

KV Tyagi said the Congress kept dragging the seat-sharing talks. "...We kept saying that seat sharing needs to happen immediately...INDIA lacked plans to fight against the BJP".

Strained ties with RJD?

Tyagi also said on Sunday the JD(U) had problems with the RJD, the main opposition party in Bihar, at a local level. However, he squarely blamed the Congress for the latest development.

JD(U) and RJD leaders had been sniping at each other amid apprehensions among Kumar's supporters that their ally, the RKD, was trying to undermine him in matters of governance as well as politics, PTI reported.

ALSO READ: JD(U), RJD vie to take credit for Karpoori Thakur's Bharat Ratna: Why is the award politically significant in Bihar?

According to the report, Nitish Kumar's decision to take over as the JD(U) president, by cutting short the tenure of Lalan Singh, was seen as a determined effort by him to take firm control of its organisation. This happened amid suggestions from a section of JD(U) leaders that the chief minister's confidant may have grown too close to the RJD or was pursuing an independent agenda.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 28 Jan 2024, 03:37 PM IST
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