Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 05 October 2022 1.28 PM IST

BJP which suffered a blow in Bihar


It cannot be said that JDU leader Nitish Kumar's dynamic moves, who left his ties with the BJP and formed a new government in Bihar with the support of the grand coalition parties, are completely unexpected. He had been locking horns with the BJP leadership for some time. It's just that he was waiting for the right opportunity. The BJP, which had the support of 77 members in the 243-member assembly, had some broader motives in mind when it handed over the post of Chief Minister to Nitish's party, which had only the support of 45 members. But the shrewd Nitish, who has seen many twists and turns in politics, was one step ahead. Nitish's action is a big political blow for the BJP, which was trying to seize power in Bihar in the same way it did earlier in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, and most recently in Maharashtra.

It is said that there are no permanent alliances or connections in politics. Nitish was able to easily bring back his old friends, who were alienated when he formed an alliance with the BJP, and retain the seat of the Chief Minister. This is the second time in a decade that he has left the BJP-led NDA alliance. He had been at odds with the BJP leadership for some time over many national issues. He was constantly asking the Centre to give special status to Bihar, one of the poorest states in the country. The Centre did not pay heed to it. Nitish was also angry that he was not consulted on important national issues. He was also furious that the Centre had taken a unilateral decision on the 'Agnivir' recruitment issue. Nitish was also provoked by the Centre's rejection of the proposal to include caste in the ongoing national census. He had also issued an order on his own to record the caste while taking the census in Bihar. Nitish Kumar believed that BJP had a hand in pushing the JDU to the third position in the 2020 assembly elections. He had also opposed the appointment of RCP Singh, a prominent member of the JDU, as Union Minister without consulting him. He had a strong doubt that the BJP would use Singh as a weapon to split the JDU into two and gain power in the state just like how it managed to split the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Sensing danger, Nitish made a move ahead of the BJP.

Nitish did not have to think for a second to form a new cabinet with RJD who was waiting for power. Congress, Communist parties and some other smaller parties have also extended their support to him. Nitish's political ambitions are not limited to being the Chief Minister of Bihar. He is reportedly targeting the post of Prime Minister in the 2024 elections. It remains to be seen how many of the allies will be there with him. For the BJP, the collapse of the alliance with Nitish is a big setback. It is a shortcoming that there are no major parties from North India left in NDA along with BJP.

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