Nitish Kumar back in NDA: BJP upbeat amid some doubts

While one party leader said that Nitish “cannot be a natural ally of the BJP”, another said a section of leaders in Bihar cannot forget how Nitish Kumar had “humiliated BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, referring to his parting with BJP in the wake of Modi becoming the party’s Prime Minister candidate in 2013.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: July 28, 2017 9:41 am
narendra modi, PM Modi, Nitish Kumar, PM Modi bihar, Modi's bihar visit, Nitish KUmar Narendra Modi, Bihar liquor ban, demonetisation, Notebandi, Nitish Kumar demonetisation, PM Modi demonetisation, prime minister narendra modi, nitish kumar, nitishm, bihar cm nitish kumar, bihar chief minister nitish kumar, bihar, bihar news, patna, guru gobind singh, gandhi maidan patna, indian express, india news Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (File)

Even as an upbeat BJP celebrates the addition of one more state in the NDA kitty and the break-up of Bihar’s Grand Alliance undoing, at least temporarily, the possibility of a united Opposition, a section of party leaders on Thursday sounded cautious in their reaction to Nitish Kumar’s return to NDA.

While one party leader said that Nitish “cannot be a natural ally of the BJP”, another said a section of leaders in Bihar cannot forget how Nitish Kumar had “humiliated BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, referring to his parting with BJP in the wake of Modi becoming the party’s Prime Minister candidate in 2013.

“What can I say about a person who has no ideology, and has been opportunistic all along,” asked senior BJP MP Hukumdev Narayan Yadav.

The party’s central leadership, however, claims it as a “big victory”, with Bihar becoming the 17th state where the NDA is in power. For the party, it is also a “sweet revenge” for the humiliation faced at the hands of the RJD-JD(U)-Congress combine in the 2015 state elections.

But Yadav, a former Union minister and Lok Sabha MP from Madhubani, said, “Some people in party think this (alliance) is not good for Bihar. They cannot forget humiliation of BJP and Modi-ji.”

In Parliament corridors, most BJP MPs were jubilant at the party’s “latest gain”. Some of them said this reinforces the party’s anti-corruption credentials.

Ashwani Choubey, MP from Buxar, said for BJP this means an end to Opposition call for unity. “We can do good things for Bihar. But how far it would go…only future will tell,” Choubey added.

But another party MP was not so certain. “It seems good for the time being but in the long run, the party will have issues,” the MP said. “Nitish Kumar will show his true colours (soon) — he is not a man of consensus.”

At least three MPs said BJP will not gain big from this alliance unless it is able to weaken the JD(U) in the coming years.

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