From Nitish Kumar to Tejashwi Yadav: Top RJD leader claims CM transition in Bihar will be sooner than you think

Since severing ties with the BJP, Nitish Kumar has been on a mission to try and unite the Opposition to take on the BJP on a national level in 2024.

From Nitish Kumar to Tejashwi Yadav: Top RJD leader claims CM transition in Bihar will be sooner than you think
Tejashwi Yadav with Nitish Kumar (File Image)

A top leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal has claimed that the transfer of power in Bihar — from Nitish Kumar to Tejashwi Yadav — could happen as early as 2023. With Nitish Kumar moving to a larger national role ahead of the 2024 polls, the RJD sees the handover of Bihar chief ministership to Tejashwi more as a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.

“As per Nitish Kumar’s announcement, we feel that in 2023, he (Nitish) will fight the national battle and hand over the fight for Bihar’s future to Tejashwi,” Jagada Nand Singh, president of the Bihar unit of Rashtriya Janata Dal, and one of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s closest and oldest confidantes, told News18 Bihar today.

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Singh’s acknowledgment is the first by any RJD leader of prominence of what was till now a common refrain but discussed only behind closed doors. Since Nitish Kumar snapped ties with the BJP to realign with the RJD, he has been a man on a mission trying to unite the Opposition to take on the BJP on a national level.

Yet, he has been wary of hinting at his prime ministerial ambitions directly. The RJD, on the other hand, has been pushing Nitish to take up the national fight in the hope that the succession plan with Tejashwi getting into the CM’s shoes eventually falls into place.

“The nation is waiting for Nitish. And Bihar is waiting for Tejashwi,” the veteran RJD leader said speaking to the news channel.

The buzz of Tejashwi’s ascent to the top post in Bihar gained traction when Nitish, at an event in Patna on Tuesday, referred to Tejashwi as the “Chief Minister of Bihar.” Although a slip of tongue, there was no attempt by Nitish to rectify or comment on it.

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The remark drew a jab from the BJP which said it was time for Nitish to “go to ashram”. Introducing leaders on the dais at an event of the Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department, Nitish referred to his deputy as “mananiya mukhyamantri (honourable chief minister) Tejashwi Prasad Yadav”.

“It appears Nitish Kumar has consciously or subconsciously accepted Tejashwi as CM. It is really time for Nitish Kumar to go to (an) ashram,” BJP leader Nikhil Anand said reacting to the slip-up. 

Senior RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari, who first shit the ‘ashram’ shot at Nitish last week when he said 70-plus age is an “age of going to ashram”, was calculated in his response on Nitish Kumar’s gaffe.

“It may be a slip of tongue (but) we take it as a blessing of Nitish Kumar for nephew Tejashwi Yadav, who is surely a future leader of Bihar,” Tiwari said.

The reference to Nitish handing over the mantle to Tejashwi is not new. On September 9, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi had said in Gaya that time is not far away when “Nitish would lead the country and Tejashwi would lead Bihar”.

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