Mahagathbandhan: Nitish Kumar quit the BJP today and said he should be named Bihar chief minister as the head of a new “mahagathbandhan” comprising Tejashwi Yadav and other opposition parties.
Mahagathbandhan CM Nitish Kumar
“The mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) of seven parties, an independent will work together,” Nitish Kumar said after his second meeting with the governor today. In the first one, he resigned as chief minister of a government that included his party, the Janata Dal United or JDU, and the BJP; Less than an hour later, he returned to the governor, along with Tejashwi Yadav and other opposition leaders, to say that they should be invited to form the next government on the basis of their combined strength.
After his first session with the governor, Nitish Kumar said, “I have resigned, I have informed all my MLAs.” He said the decision to part ways with the BJP for the second time in six years was based on the response he received in his interaction with the party’s MLAs this morning.
Even as his party meeting was taking place, Tejashwi Yadav, 32, held a parallel session with his MLAs, where it was agreed that he would support Nitish Kumar in the new government. Sources said Tejashwi Yadav will serve as the deputy chief minister. “The BJP betrays all its allies and threatens others,” he said at the news briefing along with Nitish Kumar.
The BJP has accused Nitish Kumar of “betraying the people” by changing partners in the medium term. However, this is an established characteristic of Nitish Kumar, and one that has drawn heavy criticism for his ideological flexibility and willingness to trade principles for power.
Until 2015, Nitish Kumar was in partnership with the BJP, though it was a fractured collaboration after it became clear that Narendra Modi would emerge as the main leader of the BJP. In 2015, Nitish Kumar broke ties with BJP and formed the government with Lalu Yadav and Congress. Bihar’s veteran leader Lalu Yadav is the father of Tejashwi Yadav. In 2017, Nitish Kumar walked out of the three-party alliance, claiming that Tejashwi Yadav’s insatiable corruption as a minister could not be tolerated by him.
Since his reunion with the BJP, the parties have exchanged public criticism on issues big and small. In June, Nitish Kumar contradicted the prime minister by saying that the Center had refused to conduct a caste census, while Bihar would actually count castes. Tejashwi Yadav fully supported him on this step.
Nitish Kumar’s anger towards the BJP has crossed the danger mark over reports of Union Home Minister Amit Shah rigging the JD(U) for defectors. The Chief Minister felt that a senior leader of his party, RCP Singh, who had joined the Union Cabinet, was being used to turn JDU against him. That’s why he refused to extend RCP Singh’s term in the Rajya Sabha, which meant he had to resign from PM Modi’s cabinet later. Over the weekend, Nitish Kumar’s aides publicly accused RCP Singh of corruption; In protest, he left JDU.
Nitish Kumar felt that RCP Singh was part of a second conspiracy by the BJP to undermine his position, the first being that of another regional leader Chirag to act as a vote-cutter for Nitish Kumar in the last general election. Paswan had tacit support of BJP. , Chirag Paswan fielded his party’s candidate against JDU; Only BJP benefited. As Nitish Kumar roared against Chirag Paswan, the BJP refused to criticize him.
Senior BJP leaders from Bihar are flying to Patna to discuss the results. These include Sushil Kumar Modi and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Nitish Kumar realized that Amit Shah was attempting to replicate the Maharashtra model in Bihar and ended the BJP alliance to pre-empt it. Uddhav Thackeray was forced to step down as chief minister after a senior leader of his party, Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde, in partnership with the BJP, instigated a massive rebellion. Eknath Shinde was awarded the post of Chief Minister of Maharashtra by BJP.