In the last 20 years, relations between nitish Y mode They’ve gone from love to hate, to love and hate again. Modi has been the single biggest factor behind most major policy decisions Nitish has made since 2010.
Nitish has resigned three times in the last eight years in the midst of his term. And Modi has been the biggest factor behind them.
Previously, he parted ways with Janata Dal in 1994 and teamed up with George Fernandes to form Samta Party. He moved closer to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was appointed Minister of Railways in the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Center in 1998.
In 2000, Nitish was first sworn in as Bihar CM with the support of the BJP. But he was forced to resign within seven days as they failed to achieve an impromptu majority. In 2003, he split the Samta Party, merged it with Janata Dal and formed JD(U).
Unlike other socialist leaders, Nitish praised Modi despite the Gujarat riots in 2002.
While inaugurating a railway project in December 2003 in Adipur in Kutch, as the then Union Minister of Railways in the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Nitish sang Modi’s praises.
He called Modi a “potential national leader” and a “development-oriented politician”. He even exhorted people to forget the 2002 riots and move on.
Nitish said: “I hope Narendra Modi is not confined in Gujarat for long and the nation gets his services. I want to congratulate Gujarat Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A lot of work has been done in Gujarat but a different picture about the state and about Narendra bhai it has been created out of the state. Work in the state is not advertised as it should be.”
He further said: “What happened (in 2002) was a stain. But it is not good if we remember only that and forget the other things that are happening. I congratulate Narendra Bhai. The development of Gujarat is useful for India and if Gujarat develops , the nation will also develop.”
Nitish was sworn in as CM of Bihar for the second time in 2005. It was the first NDA government in Bihar with JD(U) and BJP as coalition partners.
Nitish’s JD(U) has won four assembly elections so far: in 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2020. Except for 2015, JD(U) ran as a pre-election alliance partner with the BJP in the three other elections to the assembly.
It was only between 2005 and 2010 that Nitish’s tenure as CM of Bihar was interrupted and without major hiccups. Otherwise, his subsequent three terms have been turbulent and he resigned as CM in the middle of his term in all these terms: between 2010 and 2015, between 2015 and 2020 and now for the last time on August 9. Modi has been a main reason behind all his resignations and turbulent phases.
There was bonhomie between Nitish and Modi until 2009.
Nitish’s relations with Modi and the BJP first soured in 2010. It was in this year that Nitish’s dislike for Modi first came to light. It was when the Bihar CM, who harbored prime ministerial ambition, realized that Modi, his Gujarat counterpart at the time, was advancing on the national political stage and was his potential competitor.
He avoided associating with Modi. His political stance was to keep intact his secular votes, which held Modi responsible for the killing of Muslims in the Gujarat riots in 2002.
The BJP’s national executive meeting was held in Patna in June 2010. Nitish had invited top BJP leaders, including LK Advani, Pramod Mahajan, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, to dinner. On the same day, full-page advertisements appeared in local dailies with Nitish thanking Modi for Rs 5 crore in flood relief aid.
The ad also had an image of Modi and Nitish holding hands. The image was from a May 2009 rally of the BJP-led NDA in Ludhiana. This same iconic image showing the bonhomie between the two turned out to be an eyesore for Nitish.
Nitish strongly objected to the image and the ad. She abruptly canceled the dinner and also returned Rs 5 crore to the Gujarat government.
Nitish’s next showdown with the BJP took place in June 2013 and was again over Modi. At its national executive meeting in Goa, the BJP appointed Modi on June 9 as chairman of the party’s electoral campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Getting a clear hint that Modi’s stature within the BJP had risen and he would soon be projected as the face of the party for the next general election, Nitish ditched the BJP. Calling Modi a “communal” leader, he dismissed all BJP ministers in June 2013. He led the minority government with the support of leftist, independent and other parties.
Indeed, Modi was elevated as the BJP Prime Minister’s candidate at a meeting of the party’s Parliamentary Board that took place in Delhi on September 13, 2013.
Nitish’s first resignation as Bihar CM in mid-term came after the BJP-led NDA won the Lok Sabha elections and Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister on May 26, 2014. Nitish tendered his resignation bearing moral responsibility for the defeat. of JD(U) candidates in Bihar. JD(U) won only two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while the BJP won with 22 seats. The NDA won a total of 31 seats.
He installed his once loyal Jitan Ram Manjhi as CM. However, she displaced Manjhi and took over as CM again in February 2015.
For the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, Nitish sewed a pre-vote alliance called the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) with Lalu Prasad. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress. He recorded an impressive victory by defeating the BJP by a massive margin.
Although RJD emerged as the largest individual party, it honored a pre-vote agreement and accepted Nitish as CM.
However, RJD soon began to worry Nitish in an attempt to reclaim the CM job. His leaders goaded him to switch to national politics because he was PM material and leave the CM post for the RJD.
It was also a time when the central investigative agencies were tightening their grip on various alleged wrongdoings by Lalu Prasad when he was Minister of Railways. His son and his deputy prime minister, Tejashwi Yadav, was under the lens of federal agencies in the IRCTC scam.
Trying to find an excuse to get rid of RJD, Nitish asked Tejashwi to clarify the CBI allegations. Without clarification, Nitish withdrew from the alliance with RJD over the corruption issue in July 2017 and returned to his association with the BJP.
JD(U)’s performance fell sharply in the 2020 Bihar assembly elections. It won 43 seats from the 71 it had won in 2015. The BJP tally improved to 74 from the 53 it had won in 2015. The NDA formed the government even though RJD emerged as the largest party with 75 seats.
Nitish became CM again as promised by the BJP in the pre-vote understanding. Luck favored him twice. She had become CM as well when JD(U) won a smaller number of seats than RJD in 2015 as part of pre-vote arrangements.
As in 2015, when RJD began to claim the CM position, the BJP began to do so shortly after Nitish was sworn in for the seventh time.
As various BJP leaders speculate and allege, Nitish has once again begun to fuel his prime ministerial ambitions. JD(U) alleged that the BJP was trying to split the party and seize their MLAs. He broke his alliance with the BJP on August 9.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh, who is a BJP Lok Sabha MP from Bihar, said: “Nitish’s excessive ambition has been revived. But he will never be able to become prime minister.”
According to BJP leaders, Nitish and RJD have reached an understanding. Nitish will position himself as the opposition’s joint prime ministerial candidate against NDA’s Modi for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. While he would move to Delhi, Tejashwi will succeed him in Bihar.
Relations between Nitish and Modi have turned sour again.
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