New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS): Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is running a Grand Alliance government in Bihar along with the RJD, the Congress and Left parties, his recent presence at a couple of events organised by the BJP and the RSS has raised questions about his next political move.
At the national level, he has played an important role in the formation of the INDIA Opposition bloc to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, but despite all this, his recent activities have made even his alliance partner Lalu Prasad Yadav suspicious.
Nitish Kumar recently attended a G20 dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu, where he was seen talking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a long time.
The Bihar Chief Minister was also seen at an event where floral tributes were being paid to the statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay -- co-founder of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh -- on his birth anniversary.
Both these incidents have once again set tongues wagging and created doubts about Nitish Kumar’s intentions. People are wondering whether he is thinking of changing sides once again.
However, both Nitish Kumar and the BJP are publicly denying this and also making statements against each other.
The National President of the JD(U), Rajeev Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, made a scathing comment against the BJP and said that Nitish Kumar was standing firmly with the Grand Alliance and would never, ever, go with the BJP. He even remarked that it was the BJP's nature to spread confusion and they were doing just that.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh, who was once a minister in the JD(U)-BJP alliance government in Bihar, commented harshly on Nitish Kumar, and said that he should be indebted to the BJP because the party made him the Chief Minister.
Giriraj said that the doors and even the windows of the BJP were completely closed for Nitish Kumar.
The saffron party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Modi, who was the Deputy Chief Minister in the Nitish-BJP coalition government for a long time, also attacked Nitish Kumar and rejected all reports of his return to the BJP.
In 2013 also, when Nitish Kumar left the BJP after making Narendra Modi the face of the NDA alliance, leaders from both the parties had made statements against each other. But after a few years, when Nitish Kumar again joined the BJP in 2017, the party leaders welcomed him wholeheartedly.
Nitish is worried about his role not being clear in the INDIA bloc, but the biggest reason for his trouble is that Lalu Prasad Yadav has not yet given the green signal to the formula for distribution of Lok Sabha tickets in Bihar.
In fact, when Nitish Kumar contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections after breaking away from the BJP, he was able to get only two seats.
In 2017, when Nitish Kumar again joined the BJP he had only two MPs. Despite the BJP having 22 MPs, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Nitish Kumar contested the elections in the NDA alliance by making a seat sharing formula based on the number of MLAs.
Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) contested on 17 seats and the BJP, too, had to contest on only 17 seats.
The BJP’s candidates won the elections on all 17 seats while 16 candidates from the Nitish Kumar camp won the polls.
It is being said that on the basis of the number of MLAs, Lalu Yadav can also reduce the seats of the JD(U) this time, although the RJD could not get even a single seat in the last Lok Sabha elections.
All the parties in the Grand Alliance in Bihar have to be given seats in the Lok Sabha elections hence Nitish Kumar wants that the seat sharing formula should be finalised soon.
He wants it to be made clear soon who will contest from where and on how many seats out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. This is because, just like all the other parties, Nitish Kumar, too, fears defection of his MPs. However, despite several meetings Lalu Prasad Yadav is not ready to reveal his cards at the moment.
In these circumstances, October is being considered a very important month for the Grand Alliance government of Bihar.
Whatever the leaders of both the parties say, but it should be remembered that even in 2017, when Nitish Kumar had left Lalu Yadav and joined the BJP, he had dealt directly with the top BJP leaders and ministers. The JD(U)’s MPs and MLAs had no clue. This time, too, if Nitish Kumar gets upset with Lalu Prasad Yadav's attitude and decides to change sides, he will talk directly to the top leadership.