Presidential polls: In Nitish-Congress strain, BJP smells chance

The renewed developments come after Nitish’s statement on Sunday in which he blamed the Congress for the “current mess” in the Opposition.

Written by Anand Mishra , Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: July 4, 2017 7:18 am
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM Opposition, NJitish Kumar Opposition, Bihar Chief Minister Opposition Parties, India News, Indian Express, Indian Express News Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (PTI File Photo)

The BJP-led NDA seems to be sensing an opportunity in the strained relations between JD(U) and the Congress, and party leaders appear to be egging on in an effort to widen the gap between the alliance partners in Bihar and make Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar return to the “natural alliance” with the BJP.

The renewed developments come after Nitish’s statement on Sunday in which he blamed the Congress for the “current mess” in the Opposition. The remarks come days before JD(U)’s national executive in Delhi on July 23. Although the JD(U) has denied possibility of a return to the NDA fold, the mood in the BJP camp was upbeat on Monday after Nitish played down the

speculation that he fancies chances of becoming the Opposition’s Prime Minister candidate for 2019 General Election. “It’s a very significant statement. By denying the rumours, he has made it clear that there would be no hindrance for him to return (to NDA),” a BJP leader said. Another leader said: “He has opened a window. He is riding both boats, but chances are brighter that he is closer to our side.”

Nitish left the NDA in 2013. “We definitely see signs of a political realignment in Bihar. The way bitterness between JD(U) and Congress has increased… even the JD(U)-RJD relationship is far from cosy,” senior BJP leader from Bihar Sushil Modi said.

About Nitish’s chances of a return to the NDA, Modi said, “Anything can happen. But…it is very difficult to read Nitish Kumar’s mind. If any initiative has to be taken, it has to be taken by Nitish Kumar.” Denying that the party is veering towards NDA, JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi said Nitish himself had publicly asked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to take the lead in mapping out a joint strategy for the Opposition. “(But) Congress started this (war of words) — making remarks… saying he has multiple ideologies,” he said.

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  1. N
    Nilesh Ataliya
    Jul 4, 2017 at 5:08 pm
    2019 Election: Lalu:6 Mulayam:9 Mayavati:0 Khujli:0 Nitesh:10 PAPPU aur Appu (Akhelesh) dia leka dhundna passage.
    1. N
      Nilesh Ataliya
      Jul 4, 2017 at 4:51 pm
      2019 ko dek. Ke uski chhadi gili ho gaye he.
      1. B
        Budh Prakash Pundir
        Jul 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm
        Will any sensible person would tie-up with convicted persons like Lalu? It is only theit blind hatred for Modi that brought maha-thug-bandhan in existence . Earlier Nitish gets out of it better for him and his party.
        1. G
          Gopalkrishnan Nair
          Jul 4, 2017 at 3:23 pm
          This is a wrong statement. The deal is already struck. The sudden spurt in the harassment to Mr. Lalu Yadav and family by central government, the support to NDA in different forms bu MR. Kumar are the proofs. If any one think that this guy is a secular person please correct yourself. He is an opportunist. People like him mulayam, pasvan, george Fernandez etc have spoiled the vision of so called socialism. They are powerhungry, egoists and do not have any conviction to what they preach. They have already sold their souls for pittance to criminals. The clever RSS is using them. These guys are so short sighted that they are not aware of the miserable fate awits them. So please do not be surprised, if he openly declares as a super BAKTH soon.
          1. R
            Jul 4, 2017 at 3:14 pm
            He was in the forefront of the opposition plans to have a Presidential candidate from their ranks and they decided to go with Kovind even before the opposition parties announced their candidate!! Basically how could he know Kovind is a right choice when there were no options or faces announced to decide the better choice???
            1. S
              Shrinivasa Kamath
              Jul 4, 2017 at 2:39 pm
              JD[U] has developed a winning formula. It won Bihar aligning with the RJD and Congress party. In 2019, it will align with BJP. It is obvious.
              1. S
                Jul 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm
                BJP will be naive not to smell it. Nitish has been giving hint to get closer since demonitization
                1. H
                  Harry Bose
                  Jul 4, 2017 at 1:34 pm
                  Great comment that, Swapan!
                2. M
                  Jul 4, 2017 at 12:49 pm
                  With less MLA he is still enjoying with CM position. he is a great opportunist plus he thinks that he the only intelligent leader. If he is really interest to join BJP lea govt, can do so, but then why raga and saga? one can not keep two legs on two boats. Better idea can be always shared in a decent manner or common platform. He got a habit to blame or criticize all.
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