The RJD would welcome a chance to be in the government again after 20 months of sharing power with the JD(U) between 2015 and 2017, but it is treading carefully on the matter. The primary issue it has to figure out is whether to press for Tejashwi Yadav as chief minister of such an alliance, or to wait on this for a while.
RJD sources said the new alliance was almost “a done deal minus some riders”. “Our first priority is to see the BJP out of power. The rest can be taken care of,” an RJD source said. Party leaders pointed to a recent statement by Tejashwi: “Sarkar ko itni zor se hilayenge ki gir jayegi (We will shake the government so hard, that it will fall).”
Officially, state RJD president Jagdanand Singh said his party was yet to make a proposal to Nitish Kumar to form a government with the JD(U). While RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tewary, who also spoke on the matter, said its offer was “understood”, he is not in the loop of things within the party.
If the RJD is wise perhaps in not jumping the gun, ahead of scheduled meetings of its own party workers and those of the JD(U), it was the BJP’s silence in Patna on Monday that was striking. Unlike the RJD office down the same road, that bustled with meetings and a constant stream of people heading in an out, the BJP office busied itself with preparations for the “Har Ghar Tiranga” yatra.
A BJP leader said they had alerted the central leadership on Sunday evening about the developments. “We have been asked not to react. As far as we know, the central leadership has not reached out to Nitish Kumar.”
The BJP leader admitted that, used now to Nitish behaving like this every few months, this time they may call his bluff. “We find no reason to placate him as there is no immediate trigger (for the JD-U to part ways).”