October 27, 2020

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar plotting return to secular opposition fold again?

New Delhi: Within a year of walking out of the Grand Alliance and joining the NDA, Bihar chief minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar has apparently opened up a channel for negotiation with his erstwhile coalition partners, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, to return once again to the “secular” fold.

Speculation gained momentum when Mr Kumar called up RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, admitted to the Mumbai Heart Institute, to enquire about his health on Tuesday evening. Sources said that though the RJD patriarch and the Congress were “keen” and “open” to Mr Kumar’s return, it was Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejashvi who continued to oppose the move.

On Tuesday morning, when Mr Tejashvi was asked about Mr Kumar’s possible return by the media in Patna, he retorted, “After Kumar ditched us last year, he tried to sell the idea that he was joining NDA mainly for the welfare of the state… (that) with the NDA in power both at the Centre and in the state, Bihar would be equipped with a double engine that will speed up its development”. But “nothing of the sort has happened,” he added.

Sources, however, said that the Congress leadership has donned the mantle of negotiator and is trying to impress upon the RJD leader the need to unite all anti-BJP forces.

Talking about the proposed formula, a senior Congress leader disclosed that JD(U)-RJD and Congress are looking at the option of a Centre-state formula whereby “Mr Kumar could be accommodated at the Centre while Tejashwi gets to be the chief minister”.

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

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