Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in a surprise visit, arrived at Raj Bhavan to have a meeting with Governor Rajendra Arlekar. Cabinet minister Vijay Chaudhary accompanied him during the visit. The Bihar CM's sudden visit has sparked speculations regarding his possible return to the NDA fold after reports claimed growing rift between JD(U) and RJD. Nitish also rushed to the Raj Bhavan right after a government event he attended along with deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav.
Unscheduled meeting with governor sparks speculations
Reports indicate that no scheduled meeting was planned with the governor for today, causing considerable speculation.
Nevertheless, JD(U) leader played down the visit, saying the meeting was not politically motivated; instead, it was convened to discuss matters related to the recruitment of the Vice Chancellor.
In a recent interview, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also hinted at Nitish's return. His statement made it clear that the BJP has no objection to Nitish's comeback. Similarly, JD(U) allies Jitan Ram Manjhi, Upendra Kushwaha, and Pashupati Paras have no issues with it. The only obstacle seems to be Chirag Paswan.
Cabinet reshuffle added fuel to fire
Meanwhile, there is a concerted effort from the opposition alliance to convince Nitish Kumar. RJD Chief Lalu Yadav and Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav are consistently in touch with him. Both the Congress and RJD had also offered Nitish the position of the convenor for the INDIA bloc, but the Chief Minister had declined it at that time. Just two days ago, the Chief Minister reshuffled his cabinet. Among the leaders whose portfolios were changed, one was a close associate of Lalu and Tejashwi. Interestingly, this reshuffle occurred just a day after Lalu and Tejashwi had a meeting with Nitish.
Cong claims Nitish will join Rahul Yatra, JD(U) rejects claim
On the other hand, on Monday (January 22), the Congress party had claimed that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would join Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. The Congress's statement gained significance as Nitish Kumar had distanced himself from the Ram Mandir Pran-Pratishtha program. However, the JD(U) dismissed the Congress's claim. JD(U) leader Khalid Anwar stated that there has been no invitation from the Congress so far, and there is no program for the Chief Minister to join. Now, the Chief Minister's meeting with the Governor has added a new dimension to the political scenario.