Nitish Kumar’s JDU toughens stand, dares BJP to walk out of alliance

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United on Monday toughened its stand against the BJP and dared the latter to pull out of the alliance in the state.

“State BJP leaders, who want to make headlines should be kept under control. There is a lot of difference between 2014 and 2019. BJP knows without Nitish ji, it will not be able to win. If BJP does not need allies, they are free to fight on all 40 seats in Bihar,” Sanjay Singh, JDU’s chief spokesperson was quoted by ANI.

This tough talking by the JDU against its alliance partner, the BJP, comes just days after the saffron party stunned everyone by dumping its partner, the PDP, in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP’s unpredictable action had made the JDU quite nervous as many in the party felt that they could not rely on the former in the crucial election year.

Only last week, the Congress had hinted at reviving the grand alliance involving Nitish Kumar’s party on a condition that the latter had to sever ties with the BJP. The Congress party’s Bihar in-charge and national spokesperson, Shakti Singh Gohil had told PTI, “If any such possibility emerges, then we will definitely discuss it with our allies.”

He was reacting to a question on his party’s response if Kumar expressed his desire to return to the grand alliance. “Nitish Kumar is with the fascist BJP. We do not know what compelled him to join hands with the party, they are incompatible,” Gohil had added.

Meanwhile, Nitish’s former party colleague Jitan Ram Manjhi, also an ex-chief minister of the state, on Monday said that the precondition for the Bihar CM to join the grand alliance was that he ought to given up the chief minister’s post.

Manjhi, who now heads Hindustani Awam Morcha party, told ANI, “If Nitish Kumar gives up CM seat and joins mahagathbandhan, then I think Tejashvi Prasad ji will be our CM face for 2020 Bihar elections.”

The Congress, RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) had formed the grand alliance, which swept the assembly polls in 2015 against the BJP. However, little over a year after coming to power, Kumar had sensationally dumped his old partners to form a new government in Bihar with the help of the BJP.

Not too long ago, the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, who held the post of deputy chief minister under Nitish, had said that the doors of the ‘(grand alliance) mahagathbandhan’ had been closed for Nitish Kumar.

Yadav, whose stature has grown considerably in the absence of his father, Lalu Prasad Yadav, holds Nitish, among others, responsible for the ‘politics of vendetta’ being carried out against his family.

Together with the Congress, Yadav’s RJD has inflicted two back-to-back defeats to the JDU and the BJP’s candidates in the recent Lok Sabha and assembly by-elections. People close to him say that Yadav is extremely confident that he’s managed to turn the tables on Nitish by consistently highlighting the latter’s poor governance in Bihar.

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