Bihar political crisis Highlights: Days after he ended his alliance with the BJP and returned to the Mahagathbandhan, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar denied BJP leader Sushil Modi’s allegations that he had aspirations of becoming India’s next Vice President, calling them “bogus” and a “joke”. “You heard a man (Sushil Modi) say that I wanted to be Vice President. What a joke! It’s bogus. I had no such desire,” the Janata Dal (United) leader, who was sworn in as Chief Minister of Bihar for a record eight time on Wednesday, told news agency ANI. “Did they forget how much our party supported them during the Presidential and Vice Presidential polls?”
A day after he ended his alliance with the BJP and returned to the Mahagathbandhan, Nitish took oath Wednesday as Chief Minister of Bihar for a record eighth time and urged all Opposition parties to prepare for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Along with him, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav too was administered the oath of office and will be the Deputy Chief Minister. Election strategist Prashant Kishor took a swipe at his former party leader and said the current political developments in Bihar should not surprise anyone, as this is the “sixth experiment” by Nitish in government formation since 2012. The only constants in this period have been Nitish as CM and Bihar doing poorly on most development indices, he said.
On Wednesday, as the BJP protested Nitish’s “treachery”, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain acknowledged, in interviews to the media, that the development of Nitish parting ways was “unexpected”. Another senior BJP leader said, “There were rumblings and Delhi knew it, but it did not expect this to happen. It was caught off guard. With the benefit of hindsight, I can say we were complacent. The state unit kept assuring Delhi this was not going to happen. Eventually, we have ended up doing a Maharashtra to us.” In a bid to recouperate after the political upheaval in Bihar, the saffron party on Wednesday appointed Sunil Bansal, who played a key role in the party’s victories in Uttar Pradesh since 2014, as national secretary in charge of West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana — three Opposition-governed states the party is paying special focus on for 2024.