There has been a change of power once again in Bihar. The Chief Minister has not changed, the coalition government has changed. Nitish Kumar is once again disillusioned with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the broken love with his old ally NDA alliance has once again reconnected. Sometimes NDA, sometimes Grand Alliance, sometimes India… Guessing when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will do a U-turn for political gains is like finding a needle in a field of sand. Nitish, who cursed PM Narendra Modi for almost 2 years, seems to be sailing through the 24 elections only with the help of Modi.
Nitish Kumar has taken oath as Chief Minister for the ninth time. In fact, Nitish Kumar is the compulsion of both BJP and RJD, no one can dream of forming a government without him. He has neither left BJP in this situation nor RJD to form the government without Nitish. If we turn the pages of Bihar politics, Nitish Kumar made a mismatched alliance for the first time in 2014. He was a staunch opponent of the Jungle Raj government, he formed an alliance with RJD. This alliance won the election with majority. In the year 2017, Nitish lost his attachment to the alliance. He did not like the company of Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and joined BJP after accusing him of corruption.
JDU and BJP fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2020 assembly elections together. Despite showing fear of Jungle Raj government, Nitish Babu could get only 43 seats. In 2022, BJP again started appearing to Nitish Kumar as a dictatorial party. Nitish Kumar formed the government with the Lalu family. Tejashwi again became deputy. Tejashwi promised that he will create a flood of government jobs. He started working and also started taking credit. Nitish did not like this and the bitterness increased.
Nitish Kumar, who was in alliance with BJP for a long time, cursed BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, after this he formed the government in Bihar with Lalu’s party, became the Chief Minister and within no time, Then they get rid of Lalu and embrace BJP. Contested the 2019 general elections while being in the NDA. Then they also fight the 2020 assembly elections together, in which the performance of their party was very poor, despite this they become the CM again. But don’t know why, Nitish Kumar turned around and went with Lalu again. Now once again CM Nitish repeated the Paltimar incident of 2017 and in the same manner left Lalu and went with BJP.
BJP has dominated in the last two Lok Sabha elections held on 40 seats of Bihar. In the 2014 election results, BJP alone had won 22 seats, while the NDA alliance had won 31 seats. However, if we look at the 2019 election results, BJP had to suffer a loss of 5 seats as compared to 2014, but the NDA alliance had captured 39 out of 40 seats in Bihar. This time BJP had an open field, which would have fought a one-on-one battle with Nitish-Lalu-Congress. But BJP was well aware that if this happens then it may have to suffer the biggest loss in Bihar. Caste equations are prevalent here and defeating the Lalu-Nitish duo might not be an easy task for the BJP. That is why BJP in Bihar was trying to bring Nitish Kumar with itself.
Yes, it is definitely true that this step of Nitish will benefit BJP a lot, an example of which is the 2019 elections. Nitish and Modi will contest the elections together, which will give the biggest blow to Lalu’s party and will worry Shoonya. RJD would not want to face defeat like last time. Due to Nitish’s backlash, the existence of India alliance has also come in danger. BJP realized that if Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad contest elections together in Bihar, then the effect of the results of Bihar Assembly elections held in 2015 can be seen in the 2024 elections. Let us remind you that in the 2015 results, RJD got 80 seats, JDU got 69 seats and BJP got only 59 seats.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won 22 seats, Lok Janshakti Party won 6 seats and Rashtriya Lok Samata Dal won three seats. These three parties were part of NDA. Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal, part of the UPA, won 4 and 2 seats respectively. Janata Dal United had won two seats. In the 2019 general elections, BJP, JDU and Lok Janshakti Party contested under the banner of NDA and won 17, 16 and 06 seats respectively. Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party included in the grand alliance won only one seat. That one seat was won by Congress. Looking at the figures, it can be understood that for Nitish’s party JDU, fighting the elections with BJP in 2019 was like a lifeline. Nitish Kumar understands that BJP’s support is very beneficial for him. Perhaps that is why he did not like being a part of the opposition alliance India. JDU, which was going to contest the elections together with Congress and RJD, will now fight this contest face to face.
Despite being repeatedly cheated, BJP is joining hands with Nitish before the 2024 elections. BJP wants to win each and every seat for this big fight. On the other hand, Nitish has finally understood that his national ambition is not going to be fulfilled. He is now in a mood to get off the boat of politics with respect and rest on the pier. The 2025 assembly election is his last election. Maybe they don’t even have a face in it. He would like his party to continue its existence till then. All this running and back-and-forth is for him.
After the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, a big wave is visible in favor of BJP and Prime Minister Modi. Nitish Kumar also understands very well that this is such public support which no one can deny. At the same time, by giving the highest honor to Karpoori Thakur, BJP has caused a big blow to the OBC votes. This can prove to be a big milestone for the Modi government. That is why Nitish also not only sings praises of Modi but is also seen attacking nepotism.
Nitish Kumar had the same aspirations as the Prime Minister. Where he was becoming the leader of India Alliance, where he was in alliance with BJP. Nitish Kumar was going to contest the 2025 Bihar Assembly elections under the leadership of Tejashwi, but their paths parted. The thing to be seen is how long can he remain in government with the BJP, which he has cursed fiercely for the last few years. However, Nitish Kumar has pulled off such a political coup that the entire India alliance along with RJD seems to be in trouble. This decision of Nitish is going to change the political map of not only Bihar but the entire country.
– Dr. Ashish Vashishtha
(The author is a senior journalist)