When Nitish Kumar ditches his own government, he unwittingly drives the last nail in the coffin of his political career

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The Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, who is now nicknamed as ‘Kursi Kumar’ because whenever he takes a somersault, he  makes  it sure that he drops in  the  chair, has proved once again that he can do anything for power. In 2013, when he enjoyed power with BJP for about 17 years, he opposed Narendra Modi who was chosen by the BJP as its PM candidate. He was not one, but many BJP stalwarts also opposed Modi’s candidature because he was chosen ignoring them. Nitish Kumar was afraid that by supporting Modi, whose image as a Gujarat CM during the worst communal riots in 2002 was nationally and internationally blood-stained, JD(U) would  be deprived  of some Muslim votes that  he hoped  to get. He left the  BJP and  formed  the government  joining hands  with the Rashtriya Janata  Dal  of Lalu Prasad Yadav. In 2015 when Bihar faced assembly polls, a Mahagathbandhan was formed by  the  RJD, JD(U) and the Congress. The BJP that, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was riding on  the wave of  poll victories, was halted by  this Grand Alliance. The Congress performance was also beyond its expectation, but the RJD with 80 and JD(U) with 71  swept the elections. It was a clear political indication that if secular forces are united, the BJP juggernaut would miserably fail. This alliance emerged as the only hope of the opposition parties which will have to face the BJP hurricane in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Nitish Kumar along with Lalu Prasad Yadav assumed a pivotal figure for the opposition parties. In Uttar Pradesh due to  triangular  division of  votes,  the  BJP  got  spectacular  victory,  but the  opposition was not totally disenchanted because of the Grand Alliance of Bihar.

The BJP planned to target the Gathbandhan to  steer clear its way for the 2019 elections. It knew that Nitish Kumar was an Achilles Heel and once he was trapped, the motive would be achieved. Some incidents which showed a flaw on the part of the  RJD occurred that soured the relations between the two main allies. When Siwan’s MP Shahabuddin was released on bail, he made insulting remarks against the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The RJD leaders should have taken them seriously, but kept mum. The BJP exploited the incident and said the Chief Minister lost his authority. The current provocation that CBI filed corruption cases against Tejashwi, the Deputy Chief Minister, was made a mountain of a molehill by Nitish Kumar. It was a fact beyond doubt that the Central Agency acted according to the dictates of the Modi government. It was not incumbent on the  RJD leader and son of Lalu Prasad Yadav to resign and therefore he ruled out his resignation. The CBI is prosecuting the Union Minister Umabharati on criminal charges, but the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi never thought of asking her to quit, of course because it was a matter of religious belief. This showed a bias and an affront to the secular constitution. Nitish Kumar asked his deputy to explain the charges, but did not ask him to resign. The matter could have been sorted out by seeking resignation from Tejashwi and making another RJD leader the Deputy Chief Minister. It is also worth  noting that Nitish Kumar with the so-called clean image could not get as much seats  for JD(U) in  2015 elections as Lalu Prasad  Yadav with graft conviction, fetched  for his RJD.  Tajashwi was only a pretext.

The plan was already worked out  and Nitish Kumar agreed to implement it. He demolished the Grand Alliance, resigned as the Chief Minister on July 26 and was sworn in as the Chief Minister on July 28 forming a new government with BJP.  Projecting himself as the great guardian of probity and sanctity, he lost his position  as one  of the key opposition  leaders who  could challenge the  Modi government. A  week or  so  before his jumping to the BJP bandwagon, at a book release  function in Delhi, Nitish Kumar said why  the BJP was allowed to chalk  out the agenda of the country, why not the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi ? On July 31, he said that no political party can stop Modi from becoming next Prime Minister. Now he is among a lot of chief ministers who are at the mercy  of the Prime  Minister. He himself wrote his epitaph as a political leader worth the name, when destroying the Grand Alliance.

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