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Why Nitish Kumar’s exit is a huge embarrassment for the INDIA bloc ahead of 2024 polls

It appears like déjà vu over again. Nitish Kumar is again to the place he was in early 2022 — with the Bharatiya Janata Social gathering (BJP). On Sunday (28 January), the Janata Dal (United) {JD(U)} chief took the oath of workplace for the ninth time with the assist of the BJP, after dumping his former allies — the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the INDIA bloc.

It’s no shock that the JD(U)’s flip — fifth time in over 10 years — has earned him the title of ‘Paltu Ram’ in Bihar politics.

Shortly after he took the oath of chief minister, he was congratulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and different BJP leaders. Alternatively, leaders from the INDIA alliance voiced their displeasure with the veteran politician, with some even describing him as a turncoat and ‘girgit’ (chameleon).

However Nitish Kumar stays unfazed. He asserted that there’s now no query of leaving the Nationwide Democratic Alliance (NDA)-fold. “I was with them (NDA) earlier, too. We went on different paths, but now we are together and will remain so… I came back to where I was (NDA), and now there is no question of going anywhere else,” the 72-year-old stated.

However as Nitish makes a ghar wapsi to the NDA, one can’t ignore that his exit will negatively affect the INDIA grouping. We have a look how.

Why Nitish Kumar left INDIA

After a lot hypothesis and conjecture, Nitish Kumar on Sunday tendered his resignation as chief minister on Sunday morning, ditching the Mahagathbandhan and the opposition bloc INDIA. Shortly after, the 72-year-old was administered the oath of workplace by Bihar Governor Rajendra Arlekar at Raj Bhavan for the ninth time, within the presence of BJP leaders, together with social gathering president JP Nadda.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Kumar informed reporters: “I have come back where I was earlier. Now there is no question of going back.”

He indicated that he wasn’t pleased with the way in which issues had been going within the alliance within the state in addition to the newly fashioned Opposition grouping, INDIA.

There have been rumblings of cracks between the JD(U) and the RJD for fairly a while, with many speculating that Nitish would flip sides. Upendra Kushwaha, who heads the Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal, claimed that Kumar was attempting to stop the Mahagathbandhan as he was feeling “suffocated”.

“Nitish Kumar has built an image where everyone keeps guessing about his future political moves. It is true that he is not comfortable as RJD is part of the Mahagathbandhan. He is feeling suffocated,” he informed PTI on Friday.

JD(U) nationwide spokesperson KC Tyagi additionally supplied insights as to why Nitish Kumar stop the INDIA bloc and rejoined arms with the NDA. “The attitude of the Congress from day one had not been very positive… They wanted to finish all of us non-Congress parties as part of a conspiracy,” he alleged to Indian Specific.

Also read: How Lutyens’ Delhi derailed Nitish Kumar’s political career — and with it the prospect of Bihar

He additional added, “They (Congress) also wanted to hijack the leadership of the INDIA bloc. It was decided in Mumbai that the alliance will not project a face. But through some intrigue and manipulation in the night… Jairam Ramesh and co ensured Mallikarjun Kharge’s name was proposed at the meeting. What was the need for such intrigue and manipulation? Although Kharge politely refused, it was the Congress’s conspiracy to hijack leadership (of the bloc).”

Why Nitish Kumars exit is a huge embarrassment for the INDIA bloc ahead of 2024 polls
BJP president JP Nadda and JD(U) chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar through the swearing-in ceremony of latest state authorities, at Raj Bhavan in Patna. PTI

How INDIA reacted

Nitish’s flip, understandably, has shocked and irked the INDIA bloc. Tejashwi Yadav, the son of Lalu Yadav and former deputy chief minister of Bihar, stated, “The JD(U) will be destroyed in the upcoming Assembly polls”.

“The game is not over for us. The game has just begun,” stated the younger chief. His elder brother, Tej Pratap Yadav, and sister, Rohini Acharya, additionally ridiculed the Bihar chief minister, likening him to a “chameleon.”

Convenor of the INDIA grouping, and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge additionally minced no phrases when requested about Nitish Kumar’s volte-face. He stated that he knew it might occur, including, “There are numerous individuals within the nation like ‘Aaya Ram-Gaya Ram’.

“Earlier he and us were fighting together. When I talked to Lalu ji and Tejashwi, they also said that Nitish is going. If he wanted to stay, he would have stayed but he wants to go. That’s why we already knew this, but to keep the India alliance intact, if we say something wrong, the wrong message will be sent. This information was already given to us by Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav. Today that came true. There are many people in the country like ‘Aaya Ram-Gaya Ram’,” Kharge stated.

Why Nitish Kumars exit is a huge embarrassment for the INDIA bloc ahead of 2024 polls
Bihar governor Rajendra Arlekar administers the oath of workplace to JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar as state chief minister through the swearing-in ceremony of latest state authorities, at Raj Bhavan in Patna. That is the ninth time that Kumar has been sworn in as chief minister. PTI

Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress matriarch and West Bengal chief minister, additionally expressed her anger at Kumar’s actions. A supply near her informed The Telegraph, “Didi thinks that if Nitish Kumar leaves the INDIA bloc, it would be good riddance. “She thinks that the anti-incumbency facing the Nitish-led government would have cost the alliance.”

One other senior face of the Opposition alliance, Sharad Pawar, stated individuals will give a befitting reply to the politics of “frequently shifting loyalties” being performed by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, maybe, had the most effective tackle the occasions. Utilizing his impeccable English expertise, he referred to as Kumar a snollygoster — which suggests “a shrewd, unprincipled politician”. By the way, this was the identical phrase Tharoor had used for the veteran chief had parted methods with the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar.

How Nitish’s exit hurts INDIA

Whereas the leaders might venture Nitish’s exit as non-significant, it’s onerous to disregard him or his affect on the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

At the beginning, Nitish’s exit hurts the alliance, because it reinstates the narrative that the BJP has pushed on the grouping — of it being non-reliant and unstable. Kumar’s shift will now add to the NDA’s momentum and the INDIA bloc must provide you with some main gamechanger to tackle the NDA.

Secondly, his crossing over to the NDA, boosts the ruling alliance’s numbers for the upcoming polls. Analysts observe that Nitish’s exit from the INDIA bloc additionally places the grouping in a conundrum over the matter of caste equations. In spite of everything, it was Nitish Kumar who was the architect of the Bihar caste survey — a template that the Opposition has used for a pitch towards the BJP. Because the Indian Specific stories, Nitish’s transfer to the NDA additionally reinforces the “Hindutva plus social justice” plank which the BJP has repeatedly underlined as the inspiration of its electoral enchantment and success.

Why Nitish Kumars exit is a huge embarrassment for the INDIA bloc ahead of 2024 polls
The leaders of the INDIA bloc have expressed their displeasure with Nitish Kumar on his exit. Mallikarjun Kharge and West Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee have slammed the JD(U) chief for his flip to the NDA. File picture/PTI

Nitish’s exit additionally hurts the INDIA bloc, as he was the one who initiated it. Critics will now query the viability and existence of the grouping now that the JD(U) chief has walked out.

Moreover, his exit comes on the worst time for INDIA; the TMC and Aam Aadmi Party have introduced that they might be going solo in West Bengal and Punjab respectively, making voters query if the alliance is of any sense.

Ballot pundits additionally observe that with Nitish leaving the Grand Alliance within the state of Bihar, the RJD is left to depend upon the ‘MY’ mixture — Muslim, Yadav base. As an illustration, an ABP-CVoter survey from a month in the past predicted 21-23 seats for the INDIA bloc and 16-18 for the NDA. However this appears very onerous now with the JD(U) chief dumping the alliance.

Nitish dumping the INDIA bloc additionally reinforces the anti-Congress stance. JD(U) leaders have blamed the Grand Outdated Social gathering for his or her chief’s transfer and this may damage their repute and probabilities within the normal elections. It additionally places strain on the Congress in its negotiations with allies like Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Social gathering.

Clearly, the exit of Nitish Kumar and the JD(U) is a large embarrassment for the INDIA bloc, whether or not it wish to acknowledge it or not.

With inputs from companies

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