After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar described the nomination of Governor Ram Nath Kovind for President post by NDA as a matter of personal happiness, the JDU on Wednesday decided to support his candidature and skip the Opposition meeting. This was not the first time Nitish came in support of a decision taken by the Centre, particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has done this on a number of occasions in recent past. And the praises have manifested into a sort of camaraderie raising speculation of a possible ghar wapsi of Nitish into NDA.
Nitish and Modi fell out famously during the run up to the 2014 election when Modi was made the prime ministerial candidate of the NDA. After that, Nitish’s mahagathbandhan against the BJP successfully prevented PM Modi’s victory in Bihar. All this painted the two leaders as bitter rivals of each other. However, once a staunch opponent of Modi, Nitish seems to have become one of his biggest admirers in recent time.
The two heaped praises on each other when liquor ban was announced in Bihar. PM Modi welcomed his move then and caught many in the political circles by surprise. He had said: “I greet Nitish Kumar from the core of my heart for launching a campaign against liquor.” This comment was greeted by Nitish in an, even more, praiseful manner and he invoked PM Modi’s work as a chief minister to suggest his government drew confidence from PM Modi’s similar achievement in Gujarat.
“Our Prime Minister was chief minister for 12 years and he implemented prohibition of liquor very effectively in Gujarat,” Nitish had said.
This was followed by Nitish backing Centre’s decision of demonetisation, which was met with wide opposition from political parties and the general public. Nitish called demonetisation as a “big move” and appreciated the government’s attack on black money.
Nitish’s visit to PM’s house recently, skipping the UPA meeting to discuss the presidential candidate also raised many eyebrows. He met the PM and sought immediate help for waterways, flood preparation, ganga management etc. PM Modi committed prompt support and Nitish Kumar appreciated him for addressing his state’s issues.
With Nitish once again siding with the BJP, at a time when his partner Lalu Yadav’s family is facing the heat after Income Tax raids, political pundits are bracing for a big surprise from the state of Bihar.