Nitish joins hands with BJP: Bihar’s political scenario

Nitish Kumar’s decision need of the hour, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in New Delhi. File photo  

On Wednesday evening as Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the move that effectively ended the coalition that had handed a comprehensive defeat to the BJP in 2015.

“For joining the war against corruption, I congratulate Nitish Kumar. The 1.25 billion citizens of India welcome and support honesty. For the nation and specifically for Bihar’s bright future we must rise above political differences and fight against corruption. This is the need of the hour,” he tweeted, just minutes after Mr. Kumar tendered his resignation at the Raj Bhavan in Patna to Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi.

The BJP’s parliamentary board, headed by Mr. Modi, was meeting at the time the events related to the resignation were playing out in Patna.

It interrupted the proceedings midway and issued a statement that left no one in any doubt that the party was eager to extend support to Mr. Kumar. “We are not in favour of mid-term polls and have set up a three-member committee to make an assessment of the political situation after which we will take a call,” said the Board’s secretary and health minister J.P. Nadda.

BJP forms three-member panel

The committee will include BJP State unit president Nityananda Rai, senior leaders Sushil Modi and Prem Kumar.

That move appears a formality with sources telling The Hindu that the BJP was willing to extend unconditional support to Mr. Kumar to cobble the numbers together in the Assembly.

The Congress, the third partner in the mahagathbandhan, appeared despondent at the turn of events in Patna.

“We are deeply disappointed by the news of Nitish Kumar’s resignation. Congress respects Nitish Kumar as a leader,” said All India Congress Committee general secretary Randeep Surjewala. Sources told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar had informed the AICC general secretary in charge of Bihar, C.P. Joshi, while on the way to Raj Bhavan.

“Mr. Joshi asked him not to take a decision in haste. Neither Congress president Sonia Gandhi nor vice-president Rahul Gandhi were informed,” said a source.

The Congress said the mandate was “given to policies, programmes, and leadership of mahagathbandhan, and the Congress will do everything within its means to see that the mandate is honoured”.

Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that he had predicted that the mahagathbandhan “would not last beyond two-and-a-half years at the inception of the government itself”. NC leader Omar Abdullah said that it “reaffirmed that in politics there are no permanent friends and permanent enemies, just marriages of convenience”.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 3:40:34 AM |

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