Nitish to Meet MLAs on Sunday, May Rejoin NDA

The Asian Age.  | Nayyar Azad

India, Politics

Nitish Kumar, who had formed the grand alliance government in 2022 after parting ways with NDA, is a significant ally of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (PTI)

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to convene a meeting with his MLAs on Sunday, sparking speculation about a potential departure from the Mahagathbandhan or grand alliance and a potential return to the NDA fold.

Nitish Kumar, who had formed the grand alliance government in 2022 after parting ways with the BJP-led NDA, is a significant ally of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc.

The political turmoil within the grand alliance intensified after Nitish Kumar's recent comments on dynastic politics, interpreted as a veiled critique aimed at his grand alliance partners RJD chief Lalu Yadav and the Congress.

During an address in Patna on the centenary birth anniversary of socialist leader Karpoori Thakur, Nitish Kumar also took a dig at the Congress for not awarding the Bharat Ratna to Thakur.

Internal sources reveal a deepening rift after Nitish Kumar declined an invitation to join Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

While it remains unclear if Nitish Kumar has finalised a deal with the BJP, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi's statement suggested a softened stance, stating, "The doors are not permanently closed for anyone in politics."

The grand alliance faces confusion and RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha urged Nitish Kumar to break the silence and clarify the situation.

Amidst the developments, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav skipped the Republic Day high tea, while Nitish Kumar engaged with BJP leader Vijay Kumar Sinha at the Governor's House.

The RJD ordered its MLAs to camp in Patna, and Congress leaders are reportedly asked to camp in Purnea for a high-level meeting to discuss future political strategies.

As BJP leaders hold meetings in Delhi and Bihar, awaiting confirmation on the grand alliance's fate, Nitish Kumar's potential return to the NDA is expected to impact seat-sharing formulas for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The evolving situation adds uncertainty to the grand alliance, with many closely watching Nitish Kumar's next move. Lalu Yadav may explore alliances with HAM Chief Jitan Ram Manjhi and AIMIM to save the government, while clarifications emerge on HAM's representation in case of Nitish Kumar's return to the NDA.