News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

Rediff.com  » News » 'All that matters to Nitish is his self interest'

'All that matters to Nitish is his self interest'

By M I KHAN
January 28, 2024 18:44 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

'When he was sidelined in the INDIA bloc, it was was the turning point because it badly hurt Nitish's ambition.'
'After that, he decided to damage INDIA by changing sides.'

IMAGE: Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United President Nitish Kumar speaks to the media after handing over his resignation to Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar in Patna, January 28, 2024. Photographs: ANI Photo
 

Three days after Janata Dal-United President and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar thanked Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi for conferring the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, posthumously on veteran Socialist leader Karpoori Thakur, he dumped the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan that included the Congress and Left parties, and aligned with Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.

Bihar's BJP-JD-U government was sworn in on Sunday evening.

Till last week, senior JD-U and RJD leaders repeatedly refuted any rift, differences and heartburn in the Mahagathbandhan. This correspondent was the first to report in December that Nitish Kumar was planning to dump the Mahagathbandan and return to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

IMAGE: JD-U President Nitish Kumar with Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vijay Kumar Sinha, state BJP President Samrat Choudhary and JD-U leaders demonstrate their legislative strength to Governor Arlekar and stake a claim to form the government in the state.

What provoked Nitish Kumar to return to the NDA, which he dumped in August 2022?

JD-U sources tell me that Nitish was angry after he was not named convenor or the prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition bloc INDIA.

Nitish had convened the first meeting of Opposition leaders in Patna in June 2023, which led to the formation of the INDIA bloc in Bengaluru in July 2023.

"For Nitish, what matter most is his self interest and ambition, neither ideology nor ethics," confides a senior JD-U leader clearly unhappy with his leader's latest political somersault. "His decision to join hands with the BJP may surprise many, not us. It was on the cards and expected."

INDIA leaders, he explains, had frustrated Nitish by their behind the scenes politicking not to name him the bloc's convenor or its prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha election. Nitish, he says, has been ready since last year to play an innings in national politics and for that he had mobilised Opposition parties and worked successfully to unite them.

"But when he was sidelined in the INDIA bloc, it was the end of his dream. This was the turning point because it badly hurt Nitish's ambition," the JD-U leader adds, "After that, he decided to damage INDIA by changing sides."

A political observer in Patna claims Nitish Kumar made up his mind to move to the NDA after viewing the BJP mobilisation over the Ram temple. JD-U leaders and Bihar ministers, close to Nitish, were already in touch with BJP leaders who were working to convince Nitish that the JD-U would not repeat its 2019 Lok Sabha election performance (16 seats) in 2024 with the Mahagathbandhan in a polarised condition.

Senior JD-U leaders K C Tyagi and Bihar ministers Sanjay Jha, Ashok Choudhary, Vijay Kumar Choudhary convinced Nitish to change sides after the INDIA bloc extinguished his convenor ambitions, this commentator adds.

"Had he been named INDIA's PM candidate as he expected, Nitish could have take the political risk. But he realised better gains contesting the Lok Sabha elections along with the BJP. Taking into account this weakness of Nitish, the BJP used the service of two Constitutional post holders to convince him to join the NDA," claims the political observer.

In January 2023, Nitish had declared that he would prefer to die rather than join hands with the BJP. Earlier, in the state assembly, he proclaimed, 'Mitti mein mil jayenge lekin BJP ke saath nahi jayenge', an identical sentiment.

IMAGE: Nitish Kumar with then deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav during the Republic Day 2024 celebrations at Gandhi Maidan in Patna.

Nitish Kumar may also have been irked by RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav's insistence that his younger son Tejashwi Yadav be promoted as chief minister at the earliest. Last year, Nitish himself announced that he wanted Tejashwi to replace him and that the 2025 assembly polls would be contested under the younger Yadav's leadership."

According to a senior RJD leader, Lalu had laid down a condition to Nitish -- when the JD-U left the NDA and formed the Mahagathbandan in Bihar in August 2022 -- that Tejashwi would be made chief minister when Nitish moved to national politics. But Nitish was not ready to step aside.

JD-U sources say Lallan Singh -- who resigned as JD-U national president on December 29 -- and senior party leader and Bihar minister Bijendar Yadav opposed their party rejoining the NDA on the ground that its political credibility would hit a new low if it did so.

The BJP's top leadership in December, these sources say, invited Nitish to rejoin the NDA and contest the 2024 poll together to win all of Bihar's 40 Lok Sabha seats.

The BJP leadership, these JD-U sources add, has offered Nitish over a dozen Lok Sabha seats, two Rajya Sabha seats and a governor's post for one of his nominees.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
M I KHAN in Patna
 
Print this article
CHINESE CHALLENGE - 2022

CHINESE CHALLENGE

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news