Nitish Kumar has once again proved that he is a master of the art of changing the government.
For some, it was a reversal of what happened in 2017, when he left the RJD-led ‘Mahagathbandhan’ to join the NDA again, while for others it was a reversal of what happened in Maharashtra where Shiv Sena The Congress-NCP government was overthrown. BJP-rebel Shivsena form the government.
“Bihar has become the other side of the coin of Maharashtra,” said Ranabir Samaddar, a well-known political scientist and former professor at the Maulana Azad Institute of Asian Studies.
The frequent change of platforms from secular socialist to right-wing party supporter of Dalit rights has diminished Nitish Kumar’s status as a ‘sushasan’ (good governance) figure, but his political ability to do the impossible has certainly been has not decreased substantially.
The CPIML(L) said, “If it maintains the momentum of what it has managed to do now with its new agitation, the 2024 general elections in Bihar, where 40 crucial seats will go to polls, will be a real battle for the BJP.” Will prove to be the battlefield.”) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, who also practices Cepology.
Nitish Kumar, 71, who became chief minister for a record eighth time, began as an engineer in the Bihar Electricity Board to join politics under the aegis of socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia and participated in Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement in the 1970s.
After several painful splits and mergers of the Samajwadi Party, Nitish Kumar formed the Janata Dal (United). A JD(U)-BJP alliance tried to end rival then socialist Lalu Prasad’s RJD’s long rule in Bihar, and in March 2000, he was elected chief minister of the state for the first time. However, this government was short-lived as the NDA did not have the numbers and had to make way for the RJD.
Nitish Kumar then joined the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet and proved to be a good administrator in his new role as Minister of Railways, introducing computerized railway reservation among other initiatives.
The leader of the backward Kurmi community was re-elected chief minister in 2005 and this time he had the numbers to continue. Dubbed the ‘Sushasan’ (good governance) man, Nitish Kumar improved the law and order situation of the backward state, improving its infrastructure and educational institutions.
After three terms as NDA’s chief minister, Nitish Kumar quit the saffron party and joined hands with arch rivals Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Congress to once again come to power as chief minister in 2015.
However, this uneasy alliance lasted till 2017, and they once again put on a furious face to rejoin the NDA, leaving the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ high and dry. Of course today the story is going in reverse.