Nitish Kumar’s Political Odyssey: Back to NDA for Good

nitish kumar and amit shah

In the convoluted realm of Indian politics, alliances and realignments are as common as the rising and setting of the sun. However, few figures embody the fickleness of political affiliations as much as Nitish Kumar, the stalwart leader of Bihar. In a recent turn of events, Nitish Kumar has emphatically declared his return to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), asserting that his dalliances with other political fronts were mere deviations in his journey.

After a tumultuous period marked by shifts in alliances and ideological alignments, Nitish Kumar’s announcement comes as a significant development, not only for Bihar’s political landscape but also for the larger national scenario. His return to the NDA fold signals a reconfiguration of power dynamics within the state and potentially shapes the trajectory of politics at the central level.

Nitish Kumar’s political career has been characterized by a pragmatic approach, often guided by the pursuit of Bihar’s development and his own quest for relevance on the national stage. His initial foray into national politics saw him aligning with the BJP-led NDA, a partnership that yielded electoral success in Bihar and bolstered his position as a regional heavyweight. However, in 2013, he abruptly severed ties with the NDA over the issue of Narendra Modi’s candidacy for the Prime Minister’s post, citing ideological differences.

Subsequently, Nitish Kumar embarked on a new journey, forming an alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) under the umbrella of the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance). This alliance swept the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections, handing a resounding defeat to the BJP and its allies. Nitish Kumar assumed the Chief Minister’s office once again, albeit with a different set of partners by his side.

The Mahagathbandhan experiment, however, was short-lived, as Nitish Kumar’s commitment to probity in governance clashed with the corruption allegations surrounding his then-deputy, Tejashwi Yadav. In a dramatic turn of events in 2017, Nitish Kumar resigned as Chief Minister and quickly realigned himself with the BJP, forming a new government with their support.

Since then, Nitish Kumar has remained allied with the NDA, albeit with occasional murmurings of discontent and hints of potential realignments. Speculations arose in the lead-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, with suggestions that Kumar might explore alternative alliances or even chart an independent course. However, he ultimately reaffirmed his commitment to the NDA, cementing his position as a crucial ally for the BJP in Bihar.

Now, with Nitish Kumar’s assertion of his permanent return to the NDA fold, the political landscape in Bihar appears to have stabilized, at least for the time being. His declaration comes at a crucial juncture, as the state gears up for the next assembly elections. By unequivocally aligning himself with the NDA, Nitish Kumar aims to consolidate his support base and project an image of stability and reliability to the electorate.

However, the road ahead may not be entirely smooth for Nitish Kumar and the NDA alliance in Bihar. The resurgence of regional parties such as the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav poses a formidable challenge. Moreover, discontent over issues such as unemployment, agrarian distress, and infrastructure shortcomings persists among the electorate, potentially impacting the electoral calculus.

Furthermore, Nitish Kumar’s dalliances with different political formations over the years have left a lingering sense of mistrust among some sections of the electorate. While his political pragmatism has often been hailed as a strength, it has also invited criticism for what some perceive as opportunism and a lack of ideological steadfastness.

In addition, Nitish Kumar’s assertion of his return to the NDA fold underscores the intricate dance of alliances and ambitions that defines Indian politics. As Bihar braces itself for the next electoral battle, the stakes have never been higher for Nitish Kumar and his allies. Whether his professed loyalty to the NDA will translate into electoral success remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – in the volatile world of Indian politics, surprises are always just around the corner.


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