Nitish Kumar’s frequent changes in stance summarized

Nitish Kumar’s Frequent Political Switches: A Look at His Statements After Each Move

New Delhi: Nitish Kumar, the leader of the Janata Dal United (JDU), has once again changed his political allegiance, this time leaving the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and returning to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). This marks his fifth switch in the past decade, and his statements following each jump across the political aisle have become a topic of discussion.

Kumar stepped down as the Chief Minister of Bihar this morning and has now staked claim to form a new government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as his ally. If the swearing-in ceremony takes place as expected this evening, it will be Kumar’s ninth term as Chief Minister.

Let’s take a closer look at what Nitish Kumar said after each switch:

In his first remarks after resigning, Kumar explained, “I had previously left an alliance to form a new one. However, the situation did not work out. So I have resigned. I was facing difficulties in working with this alliance. When I discussed this with party members, they advised me to resign.” He also mentioned the INDIA alliance and how it failed to make progress, stating, “I formed an alliance, but nobody was doing anything,” which seemed to be a veiled reference to the opposition bloc aiming to challenge the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

A year-old video of Nitish Kumar has resurfaced recently, as rumors of his impending reversal circulated. A few months after walking out of the alliance with the BJP in August 2022, Kumar had firmly stated, “The question does not arise. I would prefer to die rather than go with them (BJP).” In the viral video, his former Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader, Tejashwi Yadav, can be seen standing next to him. Kumar had later admitted that his decision to revive the alliance with the BJP was a “mistake,” adding, “They (BJP) made significant efforts. They lodged cases against Tejashwi and his father to bring me back. Now, they are once again targeting them. These people keep resorting to such tactics.”

Two years after the Mahagathbandhan alliance of JDU, RJD, and Congress achieved a resounding victory in the Bihar polls, Kumar walked out of the coalition, citing corruption charges against Tejashwi Yadav, who was the Deputy Chief Minister at the time, and his family members. “It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t take a stand. I don’t engage in this kind of politics. I felt suffocated, my conscience pricked me. There was no other way,” Kumar, known for his clean image, had expressed to the media. In another statement, without explicitly naming any party but seemingly targeting the RJD, he had said, “Many JD(U) MLAs were being enticed to defect from the party. My MLAs resisted all temptations and informed me about those who made lucrative offers.”

Kumar’s exit from the NDA in 2013, after a 17-year-old alliance, marked the beginning of his series of flip-flops. The bone of contention at that time was the BJP’s selection of Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “Our separation from the NDA is the BJP’s failure. You created a situation that led to the departure of old allies. An alliance cannot be sustained by force. If any party wishes to form a government, it is that party’s responsibility to seek support from other parties if it cannot secure the required numbers on its own. In this case, an old ally was compelled to leave,” Kumar had asserted.

By examining Nitish Kumar’s statements after each political switch, it becomes evident that his decision-making process is influenced by various factors. As he embarks on his ninth term as Chief Minister, it remains to be seen how his latest alliance with the BJP will unfold.

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