Will Nitish Kumar abandon BJP again? Decision likely at crucial JD(U) meet in Patna on Tuesday

Nitish Kumar, BJP news: The Janata Dal (United) has convened a meeting of all its MPs and MLAs in Patna at 11 AM tomorrow, where Nitish Kumar is likely to decide on the next course of action.

Will Nitish Kumar abandon BJP again? Decision likely at crucial JD(U) meet in Patna on Tuesday
At 11 am on Tuesday, Nitish could repeat the history he has shared with the NDA.

Bihar news: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is expected to decide Tuesday whether the Janata Dal (United) will continue its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party or chart a different path. If the latter turns out to be the case, it will be the second time within a decade that Nitish walks out of the National Democratic Alliance — the first time he did so was in 2013, when it became clear to him that Narendra Modi would be the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

At 11 am on Tuesday, Nitish could repeat the history he has shared with the NDA. And though there is no certainty over which way he will go, party insiders say that the Bihar CM is in no mood to be pacified for now. The only question that remains on the way forward for JD(U) is this — will Nitish opt for mid-term polls or will he take the easier route out and realign forces with the Rashtriya Janata Dal?   “Whatever decision is taken by party under Nitish Kumar’s leadership will be accepted by every JD(U) member”, party spokesperson KC Tyagi told news agency PTI. 

Also Read: NDA heading for a split in Bihar? Nitish Kumar puts BJP on notice, JD(U) asks all MLAs to report to Patna

BJP leaders remain tight-lipped over the happenings, while the party’s central leadership has preferred to wait and watch what Nitish Kumar decides at the meeting tomorrow.

The RJD, the single largest party in the Bihar Assembly with 80 seats against BJP’s 77 and the JD(U)’s 45 in the 243-strong House, has also been waiting in the wings. After extending Nitish an olive branch earlier in the day when senior party leader Shivanand Tiwari said RJD would embrace Nitish if he decided to break ranks with the BJP, Indications are that it may also allow Nitish to continue as Chief Minister. The RJD and the JD(U) have the numbers to prove majority and form a government. 

“We are not seeing any possibility of President’s rule in Bihar as of now,” RJD MP Manoj Jha said, adding that the party will take a decision based on the “directions of the people of Bihar”. Notably, the RJD has also called a meeting of its MPs and legislators in Patna at 11 am on Tuesday.

Also Read: ‘Ready to embrace JD(U) if…’: RJD’s big statement amid buzz around Nitish Kumar’s fallout with BJP in Bihar

Nitish, on his part, appears to have already set the ball rolling with a telephone call to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Sunday evening. Bihar Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha said while he has received no official information on the conversation, he does not deny it either. He further said all Congress MLAs have arrived in Patna and will await orders from the party high command.

After walking out of the NDA in 2013, giving a call for a “Sangh-mukt Bharat”  and then contesting the 2015 Assembly election in alliance with the RJD, Nitish returned to the NDA fold in July 2017, resulting in the fall of the Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar. He then contested the 2020 elections in alliance with the NDA and formed a government. 

While an immediate trigger for the JD(U)’s sudden outburst against the BJP remains unexplained, the primary fear for the JD(U) is that the saffron party could sever ties once the Lok Sabha elections conclude and contest the Assembly elections in 2025 alone. This is the primary reason that the JD(U) has been pushing the BJP to agree to hold the Bihar Assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP, however, is yet to agree to the demand.

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