The Bihar Post

Nitish Kumar may join hands with arch-rival Narendra Modi: Media reports, JD-U refutes


PATNA: Amid growing unease among the partners of the ruling Grand Alliance, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar may join hands with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the local media reported today, citing a series of recent political developments.

Kumar who heads the Janata Dal United (JD-U) had broken longstanding alliance with the BJP in June 2013 over the issue of Modi’s growing dominance in the saffron party.

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“The top JD-U leadership is currently in talks with the BJP to mend fences amid differences with current ally the RJD (which Lalu Prasad heads),” Times Now reported on Wednesday quoting unnamed sources. The bonhomie between Kumar and PM Modi has been seen on many occasions in recent weeks, giving rise to such speculations.

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The “revelation” comes barely hours after the (BJP lawmakers enjoyed the sumptuous feast thrown by chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday night. Both BJP and the JD-U were key partners of the NDA before Kumar broke alliance with the saffron camp in 2013 and dismissed all the BJP ministers from the ruling NDA government in Bihar that he headed.

Forgetting the bitter past, however, scores of BJP lawmakers headed by former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi showed up at the official residence of the chief minister on Monday night and enjoyed the tasty dish, leaving everyone guessing.

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Adding further twist to the fast-changing relations, a BJP lawmaker said the Bihar chief minister was eager to restore old relationship with the party. “Nitish Kumar wants to come closer to the BJP through dinner. After all, he has been part of the NDA for 17 years,” BJP parliamentarian Janardan Singh Sigriwal told the local media today.

Last week, the name of deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav was excluded from the invitation cards printed for the “Bihar Diwas” function marked to celebrate 105th formation day of the state. Yadav is the son of RJD chief lalu Prasad whose party is the major alliance partner in the government. The exclusion of his name prompted Lalu Prasad family to boycott the function.

Prior to that, the JD-U backed the BJP candidate Awadhesh Narayan Singh against its ally, RJD nominee in recent Council polls. Eventually the BJP candidate won, defeating the RJD rival. The JD-U also greeted the BJP on its magnificent victory in UP and Uttarkhand assembly polls, surprising its partners.

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The JD-U has already gone on supporting the demonetization drive of the Narendra Modi government even as both its allies, RJD and the Congress, have been strongly protesting on the streets. The JD-U also backed the government’s move to order for surgical strike in PoK.

Strangely, it was over the issue of Modi that chief minister Kumar had severed 17-year-old alliance with his saffron partner in June 2013 shortly after Modi was declared the chairman of his party’s election campaign committee for the 2014 LS polls at Goa conclave.

However, a spokesperson of the JD-U denied such speculations saying everything was fine between them. “Our alliance is strong and is working for Bihar’s developments,” senior JD-U leader claimed Sjyam Rajak.

Courtesy: Gulf News, Dubai

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