Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Set To Rejoin NDA, Marking 4th Switch In Over A Decade

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Set To Rejoin NDA, Marking 4th Switch In Over A Decade

Nitish will always remain electorally crucial for both RJD and BJP as Bihar's politics is tri-polar as he can tilt the balance in favour of any alliance of which he is part of.

Dheeraj KumarUpdated: Saturday, January 27, 2024, 12:01 AM IST
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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar | File

Bihar chief minister and JD (U) president Nitish Kumar is poised to jump on the NDA bandwagon again by quitting the grand alliance for the second time, switching sides for the fourth time in over a decade.

BJP which had closed its doors for him till sometime back has also mellowed down its approach and is no longer averse to the idea of re-inducting him into the NDA in a hope that his appeal among non-Yadav OBCs, EBCs and SCs would pay it rich dividends to him in the Lok Sabha election.

Nitish will always remain electorally crucial for both RJD and BJP as Bihar`s politics is tri-polar as he can tilt the balance in favour of any alliance of which he is part of.

Nitish Kumar's political career

After sharing power with BJP in the state since 2005, Nitish, the eight-term CM, severed its ties with the party in 2013 when Narendra Modi was more or less projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. He pleaded that the NDA should have a leader with a ‘clean and secular image’.

Later, he contested the Lok Sabha election without entering into an alliance with any party barring CPI as his party was confined to only two seats. At that time, he had given a call for ‘Sangh-Mukt Bharat’ and even claimed that he would like to be reduced to dust instead of going with BJP again. Later, he joined hands with RJD, Congress and small parties to form a grand alliance and contested the 2015 state assembly election to become CM again.

Nitish Kumar snapped ties with grand alliance in 2017

Nitish, however, snapped his ties with the grand alliance in 2017 when Tejashwi Yadav as deputy chief minister did not give point-by-point rebuttal to corruption charges leveled against him. Nitish returned to NDA fold again and contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election and 2020 Bihar assembly election with BJP.

Strained relationship between JD(U) and BJP

But the relationship between JD(U) and BJP soured when the former`s tally in the last assembly election reduced to 43. JD(U) accused BJP of getting the LJP leader Chirag Paswan to contest almost all seats where JD(U)candidates were in fray. JD(U) claimed that LJP candidates cut into its votes, resulting in its tally reducing from 71 to 43 seats. JD(U) was relegated to the third position after RJD and BJP.

Since Nitish lost the stature of being a big brother in NDA as he also came under sharp attack from BJP leaders, he returned to the grand alliance in August 2022 in a hope that his national ambition would be better served.

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