Bihar Political Turmoil: Nitish Kumar Refuses To Take Call From Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge

Bihar Political Turmoil: Nitish Kumar Refuses To Take Call From Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge

"I am hopeful that Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar, being co-architects of the opposition alliance, will continue to be part of the INDIA bloc," Jairam Ramesh.

Jal khambataUpdated: Saturday, January 27, 2024, 10:44 PM IST
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Bihar Political Turmoil: Nitish Kumar Refuses To Take Call From Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge | PTI Photo

With all attention focused on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s second political volte face in less than three years as the JD(U) president while resolutely declining to take calls from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, he is certain to rejoin Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) giving a serious blow to the opposition bloc INDIA.

Though the Congress on Saturday asserted that the INDIA bloc is not imploding even though the BJP is trying its best to do "mini-implosions" in the opposition alliance, Nitish Kumar, who has maintained a deafening silence over the turmoil in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, ignored pleas from allies RJD, Congress and the Left to clear the confusion showing as if it was business as usual.

Speculations over Nitish Kumar's probable shift

The longest-serving CM began the day by flagging off a number of new fire brigade engines at the city's veterinary college ground, which saw him address a mammoth party rally earlier this week.
He followed it up with a visit to Buxar, for inauguration of a beautification project of a renowned temple, a project of the tourism department that is held by his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, who remained conspicuous by his absence.

The attendees included senior BJP leader and Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who is the local MP. Choubey declined to comment on the ongoing upheaval. BJP state in-charge Vinod Tawde, who is in Patna to attend a meeting, also kept cards close to the chest, but blamed the Congress for the imminent "break up" of Nitish Kumar with the opposition INDIA bloc, of which he was seen as the veritable architect.

Upon Kumar's return to Patna, top leaders of the JD(U) began pouring in at the official residence of the party president, who is expected to put in his papers as chief minister and stake claim for the formation of a new government, armed with the BJP's support.

All party leaders were made to deposit their mobile phones outside the gates of 10, Circular Road, the house situated at a stone's throw from the chief minister's residence. Sources claiming to be in the know of things said the deliberations were about the course of action to be followed in the event of Kumar calling off the alliance.

Opinions remain divided in the RJD

While some RJD leaders are said to be in favour of staking claim to form the new government, hoping to cobble-up support of eight MLAs the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ requires to go past the majority mark, others, including Tejashwi Yadav, appear to be not impressed with the idea since the JD(U) and the BJP together have more than 122 members in the 243-strong assembly.

Kharge has not been able to connect with Kumar yet

Earlier, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told a press conference here that party chief Mallikarjun Kharge is trying to get in touch with Kumar but the two have not been able to connect yet. He said Kharge has been trying to speak with Kumar and his office has responded. But the two are unable to connect due to their pre-occupations, the Congress general secretary said.

Ramesh also said that Kharge has already established contact with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and has also written to her.

"I am hopeful that Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar, being co-architects of the opposition alliance, will continue to be part of the INDIA bloc," Jairam Ramesh added.

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