Why Nitish Kumar cannot be ignored by INDIA or BJP ahead of Lok Sabha Polls 2024

Amid the rumors of a rift in Bihar, leaders on both sides INDIA and BJP are trying hard to lure Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. While Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that the JD(U) chief could become the PM face for INDIA bloc, BJP MP and former Bihar deputy CM Sushil Modi said, ‘doors are never closed in politics’ hinting at possible reconciliations.  

“Anyone can be considered for the post of Prime Minister (in the alliance), Akhilesh Yadav told India Today TV, suggesting that Nitish Kumar could be seen as a contender with the right backing.

“There are no rumours and we hope that Nitish ji will not join the NDA. He will strengthen the INDIA bloc.”

The SP leader also said that Congress has a “big responsibility” of taking along smaller parties.

Meanwhile, Sushil Kumar Modi, who has been among the state leaders consulted by the BJP top brass, told reporters that doors are never closed permanently for anyone in politics. They open and close as per the necessity, he said, when asked about the party’s earlier stand that its doors were closed for Kumar forever after he snapped ties with the BJP in August 2022.

Modi said, “As far as Kumar or the JD(U) are concerned, doors are never permanently closed in politics. Closed doors open when the time comes but whether they will open or not is for our central leadership to decide.”

In a similar note, BJP leader Giriraj Singh earlier today said, “The central leadership (of BJP) will decide about it (Nitish Kumar’s return to NDA). Whatever the decision the central leadership will take, we will welcome it.” 

Congress sources close to India Today cited that they are closely monitoring the situation, expressing skepticism about Nitish Kumar’s potential return to the BJP.

They, however, added that Nitish Kumar shifting gears back to the BJP won’t be easy, showing scepticism regarding Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) supremo Chirag Paswan and Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal’s chief Upender Kushwaha. “Moreover, this time, Assembly speaker is from our side (RJD),” the Congress sources said.

Rift in ‘Mahagatbandhan’ and shifting of stances

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday attended the high tea ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan on the occasion of the Republic Day with his deputy Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD remaining conspicuous by absence.

When Kumar asked about Yadav’s absence at the function, he gave a curt reply, “Ask those who did not turn up (jo nahin aaye unse puchhiye)”, and drove back to his official residence.

Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition in the assembly, Vijay Kumar Sinha of the BJP, who was present at the event, was seen exchanging pleasantries with Kumar.

This was hours after, the Bihar JD(U) chief said that they are still with the opposition bloc but the Congress needs to do some serious introspection on ‘alliance and seat sharing’ to keep the alliance running.

“All is well in Bihar’s ruling Mahagathbandhan and the media speculations are driven by some agenda,” he added.

Such shifting of stances throughout the day has further stirred the speculations around which way JD(U) is moving – NDA or INDIA. 




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Published: 26 Jan 2024, 09:59 PM IST

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