Political Chess in Bihar: Nitish Kumar's Potential Return to BJP and Shifting Alliances

Bihar's political landscape trembles as Nitish Kumar hints at rejoining BJP, raising questions about alliances and power dynamics in the state."
Nitish Kumar, Modi, Amit Shah
Nitish Kumar, Modi, Amit Shah

In a significant political development, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's potential return to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has set the stage for a major realignment in the state's political landscape. Nitish, who has been with the BJP in the past, is reportedly following a detailed plan, beginning with the nomination of an Assembly Speaker and a cabinet reshuffle to accommodate BJP leaders.

The intricate terms of Nitish's potential return involve a reduction in Lok Sabha seats offered to his party, the Janata Dal (United) or JDU. In the 2019 elections, the JDU contested 17 seats and won 16, but this time it may have to settle for 12-15 seats to accommodate other NDA partners and reflect the party's compromised position.

The likelihood of Nitish's BJP realignment gained momentum after his former deputy and close aide, Sushil Kumar Modi, made a significant statement, saying, "In politics, doors are not permanently closed." Modi, now a Rajya Sabha MP, has been critical of Nitish Kumar since their apparent fallout after the 2020 elections, and his "open doors" remark adds weight to the speculation.

The potential return of Nitish Kumar to the BJP-led alliance has sparked mixed reactions within Bihar's political landscape and a reported divide within his own party. Lalan Singh, recently removed as the JDU boss by Nitish, is reportedly against severing ties with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), while a faction led by Sanjay Jha, Ashok Choudhary, and Vijay Choudhary is advocating for an alliance with the BJP.

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Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and his Hindustan Awam Morcha, a current JDU ally, are also reportedly being courted, with Union Minister Nityanand Rai tasked with securing a deal. Manjhi has been cryptic about his stance, hinting that Nitish Kumar's dream of becoming Prime Minister has been shattered, and he might consider contesting independently or joining another alliance.

Nitish Kumar's recent moves, including rejecting an invitation to join Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' and reaching out to the BJP, mark a significant shift in Bihar's political dynamics. His potential return to the BJP would signify his fifth flip-flop in 11 years and could reshape the state's political scenario. Factors contributing to this move include friction with the RJD and internal discord within the INDIA (INC+JDU+AITC) group, prompting Nitish to explore new political alliances.

In summary, Nitish Kumar's political maneuvers indicate a potential realignment in Bihar, with the prospect of rejoining the BJP-led NDA. This development raises questions about the future political landscape in the state and the dynamics of key alliances, adding a layer of complexity to Bihar's political narrative.

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