Patna: In a surprising turn of events, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who recently parted ways with the INDIA bloc and aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), revealed on Wednesday that he had urged the Congress and other alliance members to reconsider the name ‘Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance or INDIA.’ Kumar cited the alliance’s failure to finalize seat-sharing agreements for the upcoming Lok Sabha assembly elections as the primary reason for his exit.
“I was urging them to choose another name for the alliance. But they had already finalized it. I was trying so hard. They did not do even one thing. Till today they haven’t decided which party will contest how many seats. This is why I left them and came back to who I was with initially. I will keep working for the people of Bihar,” Kumar stated, as reported by news agency ANI.
The Bihar Chief Minister didn’t shy away from attacking Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of attempting to falsely take credit for the Bihar caste census.
“Has he forgotten when the caste census happened? I conducted it in the presence of 9 parties. In 2019-2020, I would talk about conducting caste census everywhere, from assembly to public meetings… He is taking fake credit, what can I do? Let it be,” Kumar added.
Amidst the political upheaval, the Janata Dal (United) leader faced criticism from his own party for the move. JD(U) leader KC Tyagi alleged that the Congress played a role in suggesting Mallikarjun Kharge’s name as the prime ministerial face, part of a larger conspiracy to take control of the INDIA bloc’s leadership.
Reacting to Kumar’s departure, the Congress branded him a chameleon, marking the fourth time in the last 10 years that Nitish Kumar has switched political allegiances. Despite his instrumental role in uniting the opposition under the INDIA bloc, Kumar’s exit has triggered verbal sparring between the two sides.
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi labeled the Congress as politically untouchable, while Congress leader Jairam Ramesh dismissed Kumar’s exit as “good riddance.” Ramesh expressed confidence that Kumar’s departure would have no adverse impact on the INDIA bloc, suggesting that many leaders were relieved by his exit.
Nitish Kumar’s move to the NDA came shortly after Mamata Banerjee declared her party’s decision to contest the upcoming general elections independently in Bengal. The political landscape continues to evolve as alliances shift and leaders make strategic choices ahead of the crucial elections.