Opinion | Why Has Nitish Kumar Broken Opposition Unity On Presidential Poll?

The JD(U) cannot afford to vote against Kovind, a non-Jatav Dalit. JD(U) leaders believe that a number of Dalit communities in Bihar — most of them now bracketed as Mahadalits — identify with Kovind’s community. The party had already gambled with the risk of alienating Mahadalits two years ago when it forced the resignation of then Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi in February 2015. It was Nitish himself who, following his resignation in the wake of the rout of the JD(U) in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, had handpicked Manjhi to replace him as chief minister.