Janta Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar resigned as the Chief Minister (CM) of Bihar on Wednesday, breaking away from the ‘Mahagatbandhan’ only to become the CM again within 24 hours representing the NDA, forming an alliance with BJP.
The break-up in the grand alliance was waiting to happen with the mounting tension between JD(U) and the RJD over the corruption case against Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav. Nitish Kumar resigned on Wednesday and did not see it apt to inform Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi about his resignation, he informed the CP Joshi, Congress General Secretary, incharge of Bihar.
Congress did make a statement in the media expressing the the disappointment over Nitish’s decision and the statement also had a gentle reminder for everyone to respect the mandate of the people of Bihar, the people of Bihar did not want BJP in power.
This could be a perfect case of opportunism by Nitish Kumar or maybe his conscience did not allow him to form the government and so he decided to part ways, whatever be the case, the break-up of the ‘Mahagatbandhan’ for sure is a body blow for the anti-BJP alliance for the General Elections in 2019.
The efforts of the Congress to form the alliance has now taken a body blow. The congress wanted to form the alliance of the like minded opposition parties and then take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, similar to what Sonia Gandhi did in 2004 to defeat the Vajpayee government.
According to Scroll.in it was very important for Nitesh to stay in the opposition camp, if the anti-BJP alliance had to take on the BJP in 2019 elections, because of the corruption charges the Yadav family is facing. Yadav would have been the ideal man to lead the alliance given his clean image and his track record in governance.
The most challenging part for the Congress is to keep the everyone in Bihar together. According to Scroll.in number of Congress MLAs are in touch with JD(U) and vice versa for Nitish. The BJP leaders also understood the importance of Nitish Kumar in the opposition’s scheme of things and so made a concerted effort to create a wedge between the JD(U) chief and Lalu Prasad Yadav.
According to the Economic Times, seeing the increasing support for BJP in the state it would be electorally fruitful for Nitish. Also forming the alliance with BJP will give him a faster access to the funds, which will enable him to work faster on the development front in his state.
But considering that Nitish has already broken the alliance with the anti-BJP forces, and he cannot go back, BJP will be able to take the shots. It would be the BJP that empowers itself considerably in a partnership with a politically weakened JD(U). It also means that BJP is probably taking the biggest risk of his political career.