Bihar Political Crisis: Nitish Kumar Resigns As CM After Breaking Coalition With BJP

Bihar Political Crisis: Nitish Kumar Resigns As CM After Breaking Coalition With BJP
JD(U) leader and former Bihar CM Nitish Kumar | Image sources: NDTV/Vector Stock

In the most recent development, Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) leader Nitish Kumar has resigned as the chief minister of Bihar, after informing party leaders that he was breaking the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). According to reports, Nitish Kumar had requested a 4:00 pm appointment with Phagu Chauhan, the governor of Bihar, to present his resignation. “All MPs and MLAs are at a consensus that we should leave the NDA,” said Kumar after submitting his resignation. BJP leader and Union Minister Kaushal Kishore had responded to the assumptions earlier by saying that the party never did anything to upset the leader, and would want to see him “continue as the chief minister”.

According to news agency ANI, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders gave Tejashwi Yadav the autonomy to decide whether to form an alliance with the JD(U) during today’s Mahagathbandhan meeting. The Congress and the Left parties had previously endorsed Yadav.

Lately, Nitish Kumar appears to be convinced that Bihar will become the next Maharashtra, where Uddhav Thackeray was removed as the head of the government in a supposedly carefully orchestrated and implemented exercise by the BJP. Kumar’s concerns about Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s efforts to split the JD(U) have caused flaring tensions between the two parties. As a result, Kumar accused former party leader RCP Singh of deep corruption by serving as Amit Shah’s proxy, after which Singh resigned from the JD(U) over the weekend. Reportedly, he joined the Centre and informed Nitish Kumar that Amit Shah had said he alone was acceptable as the JD(U) representative in the cabinet.

In response to growing tensions between the JD(U) and the BJP, Lalu Prasad’s RJD, which holds 79 seats in the 243-member assembly, dissolved its media panel, and advised all senior functionaries not to make any public statements, hoping to take advantage of the changing situation. Combined with 45 seats of the JD(U) and RJD, they would hold a majority of 124 seats in the Bihar Assembly.  

Upon resolving the complex issues of who should be the chief minister, the Speaker, and who controls the home department, Kumar may recommend removing BJP ministers and replacing them with those from the RJD, thus avoiding the need to be sworn in again. The rumours have started following Nitish Kumar’s absenteeism from the PM’s Niti Aayog session in New Delhi. This is the fourth official event he has missed in three weeks.

“If Nitish chooses to dump (the) NDA, what choice do we have but to embrace him? RJD is committed to fighting BJP’s communal agenda. If the CM decides to join our fight against communalism, we are ready to take him in,” said the RJD’s national vice-president and former minister, Shivanand Tiwari.

The RJD, Bihar’s biggest party that is meeting today to discuss the political crisis, said that it will support Kumar if he walks out on the BJP. The party is led by Tejashwi Yadav. As a Minister of State with his brother, he was part of Nitish Kumar’s government, which included the RJD, the JD(U), and the Congress. After breaking off a decade-long coalition with the BJP, Kumar had established an alliance with them. But he utilised the incident to break off his coalition with the “secular” parties, and return to the BJP, after accusing Tejashwi Yadav and his brother of corruption.

In order to determine its position about potential support for Kumar, the Congress has also started a series of meetings in Bihar. AICC national secretary and MLA Shakil Ahmed Khan described the recent events in Bihar as “shubh sanket (a favourable omen)” for the state. “BJP, which has a history of creating trouble for its allies, is getting a taste of its own medicine. If the situation demands, Congress MLAs may meet again on Tuesday as most of them are in the state capital,” said party spokesperson Rajesh Rathore.

Meanwhile, Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal has issued a statement at a press conference and said, “We fought the 2020 polls together under the NDA, the mandate was for JD(U) and the BJP, we won more seats despite that Nitish Kumar was made the CM. Whatever happened today is a betrayal of Bihar’s people and the BJP.”

History Repeated

For Nitish Kumar and the future of his party, what was once feared is now coming to pass. As a regional leader, he is fighting to defend his territory and stave off BJP attacks, like Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra a few weeks ago. According to the party, the BJP is attempting to cause a division inside the party and malign Kumar.

In what was seen as a sign that the coalition between the JD(U) and the BJP will soon be broken, Amit Shah recently stated that the agreement between the parties for the 2024 general election and the state election in the subsequent year are not set in stone. The circumstances are similar to those that led to Thackeray’s downfall in Maharashtra, which was sparked by Eknath Shinde’s insurrection, a senior member of his own party. In close collaboration with the BJP, Shinde orchestrated a massive uprising within the rebel Shiv Sena leaders, which was so significant that Thackeray is now battling in the Supreme Court, to maintain the title of the “true Shiv Sena” for his faction of the party.

Nitish Kumar, like Thackeray, has a long-standing and close relationship with the BJP. He juggled things by leaving the BJP for a coalition with opposition parties, much like Thackeray. The difference is that Kumar left those parties in 2017 and joined the BJP, whereas Thackeray fought to the last end alongside the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party.

Recurring Interference By Shah

Reportedly, Nitish Kumar thinks that he is being targeted using the “BJP playbook”, according to which Amit Shah has, in his opinion, installed ministers who are particularly close to him, in their combined state government. This seems to be one of the reasons Kumar turned against RCP Singh, a key figure of the JD(U). Singh’s time in the Union cabinet came to an end two months ago, when Nitish Kumar declined to prolong his term in the Rajya Sabha. This weekend, Singh was accused of extensive corruption by his party. He resigned from the party on Saturday, blaming it on personal grudges, insecurities, and a long-standing ambition to overthrow Prime Minister Modi, with whom he has always had a tense relationship. “Nitish Kumar will not become prime minister in even seven lives,” he said. But Rajiv Ranjan Singh, also known as “Lallan” Singh, Nitish Kumar’s top adviser, said today that RCP Singh was following the BJP’s lead.

 

Read more: Newly Appointed Maharashtra CM Shinde Wins Trust Vote In State Assembly

 

What Does The BJP Plan To Do?

There are several elements at work here, but one is fundamental. The goal of the BJP is to undermine the JD(U) and even Kumar’s personal popularity in order to increase support for itself. It has gotten to the point that the saffron party, which is purportedly attempting to deny Kumar the freedom to run his administration, may soon have its own chief minister. Political observers think that the approach has been successful, which has agitated Kumar. However, this political ground loss is occurring on many different levels, giving the impression that the BJP wants its own chief minister, well in advance of the state election in 2025.

Kumar seems to be cautious of the possibility that the BJP won’t allow him to continue as Bihar’s chief minister after the 2024 Lok Sabha election. However, the BJP is also aware that entering the national polls without Nitish Kumar will convey an incorrect socio-political message, and might mean losing substantial votes. According to political observers, the BJP is also aware that once Kumar is ousted, there would be internal strife inside the party and even within the JD(U). 

Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav have reached the Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the government.

Related Stories

Share this news

To Stay Updated Sign up Now

mersin bayan eskort - eskort - ankara eskort bayan - eskort amasya - istanbul eskortmersin bayan eskort - eskort - ankara eskort bayan - eskort amasya - istanbul eskort