Did Fear Of Becoming Another Uddhav Thackeray Led To Nitish Quit NDA?


It is said what goes around comes around. It didn’t take long for the BJP to experience that. BJP is widely known for its Chanakya Niti and Masterstroke, its ability to form govt in the states where it doesn’t popularly has the mandate. But the party was trumped in its own game by its long-time ally Nitish Kumar today. Even before Central BJP leaders could guess, Nitish Kumar slipped out and ditched the NDA, leaving BJP red-faced.

Nitish Kumar today resigned as CM of Bihar effectively disbanding entire cabinet. Later on, Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav met governor of the state and handed him the letter of support and staked claim to form a govt in the state.

The speed and stealth with which Nitish Kumar pulled this off, even left the BJP shell-shocked. There was no option left for the BJP except adopting the wait and watch stance.

The question however is, after leaving Mahagathbandhan in 2017, and being in alliance with BJP, what compelled Nitish Kumar to end the ties with BJP?

While we have listed all the immediate reasons that led to discord between BJP and Nitish, here’s one link that no-one’s talking about.

Nitish’s NDA exit might have a Maharashtra connection and specifically to Uddhav Thackeray. Let us discuss this in this article:

With Nitish’s Exit from NDA, another state govt is BJP mukt. The crisis panned out at such a speed that BJP dispatched its senior leaders from Delhi to Patna this afternoon, but by the time they reached, Nitish Kumar had resigned and his Mahagathbandhan entry was finalized.

According to sources, Behind Nitish Kumar’s disenchantment with BJP is a growing feeling that BJP is trying to finish it off. So much so that national president of JDU, Rajeev Ranjan told media yesterday that the BJP is trying to break the party. Even while speaking at the meeting of MPs and MLAs today, Nitish Kumar said that BJP has frequently insulted the party and is trying to split it.

His concerns however not unfounded. The alarm bell rung for Nitish after the Maharashtra political crisis. It is widely believed that BJP was behind engineering a split in Shivsena and isolating Uddhav Thackeray. Not only that one of the topmost leader of the party, only second to Uddhav Thackeray rebelled and took away 2/3rd of its MPs and MLAs, he is also now claiming to be the real Shivsena. Staking claim over the party. Uddhav Thackeray on the other hand is scrambling to keep his flock together. And fighting a legal battle that is likely be dragged over the next few months.

That for Nitish Kumar came as a red flag. Nitish Kumar felt that if he doesn’t make a move now, Maharashtra’s sequel will play out in Bihar.

The other red flag was BJP leader JP Nadda’s speech in Patna where he claimed that “only BJP will remain and no regional parties will be left in India”.

Like Uddhav thackeray’s Shivsena, Nitish’s JDU too is a regional party rooted in Bihar. So Nadda’s statement while in Bihar came as a threat to Nitish Kumar’s party.

Secondly, he feared that now estranged leader of JDU RCP Singh will become Bihar’s Eknath Shinde. Eknath Shinde, a top leader in Shivsena, worked closely with BJP to topple the MVA govt and create a vertical split in the party.

In Bihar, RCP Singh was considered close to BJP leaders, even though he was in JDU. Last year he was inducted in Union cabinet led by PM Modi without a consent from his party leader Nitish Kumar. The two leaders since became so estranged that RCP finally left JDU on Saturday.

Like Uddhav Thackeray, Nitish Kumar had decades long alliance with BJP. Like Uddhav Thackeray he too had ditched BJP to join hands with ideologically opposite parties. But that lasted only for 2 years and Nitish came back to BJP. Uddhav Thackeray didn’t. Both however are now saying the same: BJP is trying to finish them off.

Nitish Kumar also saw increasing shadow of Union home minister Amit Shah in the working of Bihar Govt. The BJP ministers in Nitish Kumar govt reportedly had Amit Shah stamp. RCP Singh was also reportedly chosen by Amit Shah to represent JDU in union govt. and it was speculated that he was trying to foment resentment against CM. moreover, Bihar BJP leaders who were on good terms with Nitish were moved out of the state: Especially Sushil Kumar Modi.

But beyond that, Nitish Kumar also felt that BJP’s track record of usurping its smaller alliance partners was now being turned on him.

Two of its examples incidentally are from Bihar:

  1. Vikasanshil Insaan Party (VIP)

Earlier this year, three MLAs of the party joined BJP. Party chief Mukesh Sahani blamed BJP for engineering this.

2. Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) : Chirag Paswan

In this case, after the death of Ram Vilas Paswan, BJP supported Pashupati paras, brother of ram Vilas paswan, leading to vertical split in chirag paswan and Pashupati paswan factions. Eventyually, Pashupati paras faction got recognition and Chirag paswan was literally thrown out of his official bungalow in Delhi.

Adding to this was BJP’s engineering of Maharashtra coup that led Nitish Kumar to believe that sooner or later, he might also meet the same fate, and thus decided to call it quits with BJP.

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