Nitish Kumar eats his words; does a somersault

By Neena Chaudhary of The Quint

Nitish Kumar

Four years back, or to be more precise in June 2013, when Nitish Kumar severed his 17-year-old ties with the BJP, he ridiculed his alliance partner saying: “Mitti mein mil jaonga, par doobara BJP se haath nahi milaonga. (I prefer being reduced to ashes rather than joining hands with the BJP again).”

Two years later, during the Bihar Assembly election in November 2015, he gave a clarion call for ‘Sangh-mukt Bharat’ (on the lines of Modi’s Congress-mukt Bharat).

By 26 July 2017, his chunavi vada (poll promise) went for a toss. It was time for ‘ghar wapsi’ to the same BJP-led NDA which had questioned his DNA and stirred a huge row.Now he is sworn in as the NDA’s chief minister, he may appear to have scored some brownie points over his estranged ally Lalu Prasad Yadav, but deep within he will also feel a sense of guilt on how he deceived the people’s mandate which gave him a landslide victory 20 months back.

The Grand Alliance, which he had stitched with Lalu’s RJD and the Congress, secured 178 seats in the 243-member state Assembly, thereby giving a decisive and crushing defeat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP.

The same BJP, ironically, will be part of his new government. The BJP burned its midnight oil on Wednesday to complete the formalities of extending support to Nitish so that the government formation exercise is over before Lalu Prasad, appearing in the fodder scam cases, returns to Patna on Saturday.

Lalu’s RJD with 80 MLAs is the single largest party in Bihar and going by constitutional norms, they would have been possibly invited by the Governor had the BJP not backed Nitish to the hilt.

“Chances are Nitish will be reduced to a rudderless CM, unlike his previous terms where his writ ran,” said a Bihar Congress leader who feels that Nitish has betrayed crores of people who voted for his alliance in 2015.

–Courtesy The Quint

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Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

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