On June 16, 2013 Nitish Kumar announced a grand break-up with the NDA. Implying that the elevation of Narendra Modi to the PM’s chair was the cause, he ended a 17-year alliance with the saffron party. It made him look good. On several occasions he had stated in no uncertain terms that he held Modi responsible for the mayhem during the Gujarat riots. This endeared him to his Muslim voters, to the media and to the general public. Here, they said was a man of principle, maybe even a misfit in the selfish world of political opportunism.
Now a little over four years later he has come a full circle. Even as he handed in his resignation as CM of Bihar, claiming that his “conscience did not allow him to continue”, his former bête noire Narendra Modi welcomed him, in a tweet smelling of rank hypocrisy, to “join the fight against corruption”.
The Bihar BJP is all set to welcome him back to the NDA fold, many of them unable to hide their glee as they savour the thought of high office again. And it looks like rejoining them is exactly what Nitish will do.
To the public looking on at this manufactured drama, there are just a few questions to ask:
If Narendra Modi is acceptable now as PM, why did Nitish break the alliance in 2013? He could have swallowed his “pain” of the Gujarat riots and continued his local alliance with the BJP.
If Lalu is stained by corruption, what about the serious allegations of corruption against the BJP in various states including MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra? Why is that acceptable to Nitish?
If he is not a political opportunist, does he have the courage to dissolve the Bihar assembly and face fresh elections? Are not the people of Bihar entitled to judge his actions afresh?
As we wait for more of this to unfold, we can be sure of only one thing: Nitish is furiously working to stay on the right side of power.