The formal seal of approval was put on Saturday on the Janata Dal (United)’s decision to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP with a meeting called by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of his party’s legislators to ratify it. Indeed, time has turned a full circle four years after the JD (U) walked out of the alliance on Nitish’s objection to BJP’s choice of Narendra Modi as its candidate for prime minister.
It has been a triumphant culmination of circumstances for the BJP, and a boost for Modi. The JD (U) decision to join the NDA comes on the heels of JD (U)’s stand of breaking its alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Yadav and the Congress after the RJD refused to tell the then deputy chief minister and Lalu’s son, Tejashwi Yadav to leave his post in the wake of a CBI chargesheet filed for corruption against him.
Significantly, Sharad Yadav, who had revolted against Nitish Kumar’s decision to ally with the BJP last month, organised a parallel party convention on the same day in Patna, but failed to attract even a single MLA. Only Ali Anwar, the JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP was present at Sharad Yadav’s meet. Later, Nitish Kumar said that both senior party leader Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar would be disqualified as they had worked against the party.
Earlier in the day, JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi said that Yadav has every right to put forward his points of disagreement with the alliance, but he shouldn’t attend RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s programme as it will break their trust. He added that although Sharad Yadav does not agree with the party’s decisions, there is no rift in the party. That Sharad Yadav has decided to swim with the opposition at the Centre which has Lalu as a major force leaves no scope for a rapprochement with Nitish at least for now.