Nitish Kumar dumps BJP in Bihar to pave way for 'Mahagathbandhan 2.0' with RJD as largest party and key player : The Tribune India

Nitish Kumar dumps BJP in Bihar to pave way for 'Mahagathbandhan 2.0' with RJD as largest party and key player

JD-U supremo to take oath as CM on Wednesday; BJP cries ‘betrayal’

Tribune News Service

Vibha Sharma

New Delhi, August 9

NDA’s only major ally and Janata Dal-United supremo Nitish Kumar on Tuesday broke off with the BJP again to form an alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, paving the way for ‘Mahagathbandhan 2.0’ and the possibility of emerging as a challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Narendra Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar with Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav interacts with the media after meeting Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan, in Patna, on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. PTI

“We have submitted a list of 164 MLAs to the Governor,” the caretaker CM said after submitting resignation to Governor Phagu Chauhan to head an alliance of seven parties—JD-U, RJD, Congress, CPI , CPI ML CPM , HAM and AIMIM.

“All MPs and MLAs were of the consensus that we should leave the NDA,” Nitish Kumar said, accusing BJP of “always insulting and trying to weaken his party and blocking the development of Bihar”—an allegation that was reiterated by Tejashwi in their joint press conference later in the evening.

The swearing-in will take place at 2 pm tomorrow.

Expected to be the second-in-command in the new dispensation, Tejashwi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “dismissing Nitish Kumar’s demands for Bihar”. “Nitish Kumar is the most experienced Chief Minister in the country who has taken a courageous step,” he said.

Slamming the BJP, Tejashwi claimed the BJP is trying to “break all parties and spread ‘arajakta’”. “Its aim is that ‘jo darta hai use darao’. (BJP president) JP Nadda said they will end regional parties. The BJP knows only to intimidate and buy people. Its agenda will not be implemented in Bihar,” Tejashwi said.

“Across the Hindi heartland, BJP does not have any alliance partner. History is witness that BJP destroys the parties with whom it forms an alliance. We saw that happening in Punjab and Maharashtra. We know Laluji stopped ‘Rath’ of Advaniji, we will not relent at any cost,” he added.

Sources said while an ailing Lalu Prasad closely monitored the developments, it was Tejashwi who was in “real control of the matter even when the BJP leadership tried to convince Nitish Kumar to change his mind. Home Minister Amit Shah called him (Nitish Kumar). Several leaders visited him in Patna to convince him”.

Amid the buzz that BJP was not only “trying to engineer a split in JD-U with the help of former Union minister RCP Singh on the lines of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra but also RJD”, sources said senior JD-U and RJD leaders convinced Nitish Kumar that it was time to move on.

Regarding their past “bad experience”, Tejashwi said “Bhai bhai main ladai hoti hain, now is the time to unite as one. BJP believes only they can have national ambitions”.

“Let us forget what happened in 2017 and begin a new chapter,” Nitish Kumar also said.

While several BJP leaders, including Union minister Ashwini Choubey, accused Nitish Kumar of being “opportunistic” and “betraying” Bihar, Nitish Kumar said he did not even want to become the CM in 2020, something he also told his party leaders.


The number game: 164

JD-U: 45

RJD: 79

Congress: 19

CPI: 2

CPI ML: 12

CPM: 2

HAM: 4

AIMIM: 1

Tribune Shorts


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