In the strained relationship between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is sensing an opportunity to get back into the power corridors of the state. In a report by Indian Express, BJP party leaders are reportedly trying to make the most of the opportunity by widening the gap further between the Mahaagathbandhan alliance in Bihar and to make Nitish Kumar return to the ‘natural alliance’ with BJP. This happened after Nitish’s statement on Sunday in which he blamed the Congress for the “current mess” in the Opposition. The comments come right ahead of JD(U)’s national executive in Delhi on July 23. Even though the JD(U) chief has downplayed the possibility to get back in alliance with NDA, there was a sign of positivity in the BJP camp after Nitish’s remarks on Monday.
The Bihar CM went on to say that he has no interest in becoming the Opposition’s Prime Minister candidate for 2019 General Election. He said,”It’s a very significant statement. By denying the rumours, he has made it clear that there would be no hindrance for him to return (to NDA),” a BJP leader said. Another leader said: “He has opened a window. He is riding both boats, but chances are brighter that he is closer to our side.”
Nitish Kumar led JD(U) government had left the NDA in 2013. Senior BJP leader from Bihar Sushil Modi while talking on the possibility of reconciliation of BJP-JDU alliance said,”We definitely see signs of a political realignment in Bihar. The way bitterness between JD(U) and Congress has increased. even the JD(U)-RJD relationship is far from cosy.”
Modi added,”Anything can happen. But…it is very difficult to read Nitish Kumar’s mind. If any initiative has to be taken, it has to be taken by Nitish Kumar.” Denying all the rumours of the possible alliance with NDA, JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi said that Nitish has asked Rahul Gandhi to make a joint strategy for the Opposition. He said,”(But) Congress started this (war of words) — making remarks… saying he has multiple ideologies.”