Nitish Kumar Returns to NDA Fold, Congress Criticizes Political Flip-flops | India News – Times of India

Nitish Kumar Returns to NDA Fold, Congress Criticizes Political Flip-flops | India News - Times of India

NEW DELHI: Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar on Sunday lived up to the reputation of being the “Paltu Ram” of Bihar politics as he made another political flip-flop. Hours after resigning as chief minister of the Mahagathbandhan government, which also included Lalu Prasad‘s Rashtriya Janata Dal and the CongressNitish Kumar is set to take oath again, this time with the help of the BJP.
This is the fourth time in the the last 11 years that Nitish Kumar has switched political sides in the state. The JD(U) chief parted ways with the BJP for the first time in 2013 to join hands with RJD. He returned to BJP-led NDA in 2017. In 2022, he again left NDA to join the Mahagathbandhan. After nearly 18 months, he is back in NDA fold. The Congress took a swipe at Nitish Kumar and said “he is giving tough competition to chameleons.”
Earlier on Sunday, the JD(U) chief met Bihar governor and tendered his resignation as the chief minister of the Mahagathbandhan government. Announcing his resignation, Nitish Kumar said “Will leave the earlier alliance and form a new alliance.” The JD(U) chief said “things were not working out well and the state of affairs in Mahagathbandhan was not good hence he was forced to resign.” Nitish claimed that “others were trying to take credit for all the good work” in an apparent reference to Lalu Prasad’s RJD, though he did not take any names. Hours later, the Bihar BJP passed a resolution to form NDA government in the state with the JD(U). The BJP is likely to have two deputies in the new government.
Nitish Kumar, who was one of the key architects of anti-BJP bloc INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), was also upset at being sidelined by the alliance partners, particularly the Congress. With Mallikarjun Kharge being made chairman of INDIA bloc, on the proposal of Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal, Nitish was left high and dry.
‘Giving tough competition to chameleons in changing colours’
The Congress reacted sharply to Nitish Kumar’s U-turn. Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge said he knew it would happen.
“Earlier he and us were fighting together. When I spoke to Lalu Ji and Tejashwi, they also said that Nitish is going. If he wanted to stay, he would have stayed, but he wants to go. This information was already given to us by Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav. Today that has come true. There are many people in the country like ‘Aaya Ram-Gaya Ram’,” Kharge said.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X “Nitish Kumar, who frequently changes political partners, is giving tough competition to the chameleons in changing colours.”
The RJD, which had on Friday asked Nitish Kumar to clear the confusion over the rumours doing the rounds, knew that the Mahagathbandhan government was on its way out. On Sunday, RJD put out a full-page advertisements in newspapers to “thank” its young leader Tejashwi Yadav for his contributions as the deputy chief minister. Nitish Kumar did not find a place in the advertisement.
“Dhanyawad (thank you) Tejashwi,” say the advertisements put out in Hindi, from “state unit of Rashtriya Janata Dal, Mahagathbandhan Parivar”, in an obvious bid to boost the image of the 34-year-old leader.
Sibal targets PM Modi
Former Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal took a swipe at Prime Minister Modi and the BJP over the Bihar political developments and said while there was talk of Ram Rajya at the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, “Aaya Ram Gaya Ram” was being showcased in Bihar.
In a post on X, Sibal said, “Ayodhya, Bihar. Talk of: Ram Rajya at Ayodhya and showcase ‘Aaya Ram Gaya Ram in Bihar’!” “What say you Modi ji?” said Sibal, a prominent voice in the opposition.
After a bitter parting in 2022, the BJP had announced that the doors of NDA were permanently closed for Nitish Kumar. Union home minister Amit Shah in several of his speeches in Bihar had said that Nitish Kumar will not be accepted in NDA fold at any cost. However, the BJP has also taken a U-turn, much like Nitish Kumar, possibly with an eye on Lok Sabha elections. In 2019, with Nitish on its side, the BJP-led NDA had won 39 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The BJP would want to repeat this performance if it were to meet the target of 400 seats in 2024. Besides, ensuring Nitish Kumar’s exit from INDIA bloc will also serve as a huge psychological blow for the opposition alliance, which was formed to challenge the BJP in Lok Sabha elections.

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