Wed, 10 Aug 2022 11:18 AM IST
Janata Dal (United) supremo Nitish Kumar on Tuesday ended his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for second time in eight years, paving the way for the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) to form the government in Bihar ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Nitish, who will be sworn in as Bihar Chief Minister for eighth time on Wednesday, had left the National Democratic Alliance in 2013 in protest against the BJP's decision to declare the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections.
Nitish's exit had baffled the NDA in 2013, but that was not the case this time as the BJP was prepared for such a step from the JD(U) chief. Several media reports have claimed that the BJP predicted Nitish can leave the NDA alliance again, especially after he started questioning the saffron party on several issues.
However, this time, the BJP top brass didn't try to presuade Nitish as he had already made up his mind to expand his political ambitions in national politics. For this, Nitish wants help from Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD and Sonia Gandhi's Congress.
The BJP believes Nitish's popularity has vastly gone down in Bihar over the past few years, which was also visible in the 2020 Bihar assembly elections.
A BJP Bihar leader told news agency IANS that the JD(U)'s performance in the 2020 Bihar polls "proved that Nitish's sway on the people of the state has reduced" and people are looking at the saffron party as an alternative to him.
Questioning Nitish and the JD(U), the BJP leader said the seven-time Bihar Chief Minister is "harming the interests of Bihar due to his political ambitions, selfishness and stubbornness".
It was also evident from the BJP's official statement in which it said that it always maintained the "coaliation dharma", but Nitish has betrayed the mandate of the people of Bihar. Nitish's long-time deputy Sushil Kumar Modi has also slammed the JD(U) chief, saying he won't get the same respect with RJD as he got with BJP.
"He (Nitish Kumar) won't get that respect with RJD that he got while being with BJP. We made him CM despite having more seats and never tried to break his party. We broke only those who betrayed us. In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena betrayed us and faced consequences," Modi told news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused Nitish of inconsistency in his beliefs.
"You talk about communalism but you aligned with us in the 1990s when the Ayodhya movement was at its peak. You fought with us against Lalu Prasad on the issue of his involvement in fodder scam. In 2013, your personal dislike for Narendra Modi made you leave us and join hands with the RJD president," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"You left the RJD in 2017 after Tejashwi Yadav's name cropped up in a corruption case. You are now pushing Bihar back into the era of lawlessness and corruption which you claimed credit for bringing the state out of," he added.