2013: In his first big change, Kumar broke ranks with the NDA in 2013 after a 17-year alliance following the announcement of Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
Live updates: Bihar political crisis
Things haven’t been too rosy between Kumar and Modi since the BJP used a photo of the two leaders holding hands in full-page newspaper advertisements when the saffron party held its national government in Patna in 2010.
An upset Kumar canceled the dinner he had scheduled for BJP leaders and even said he would return the Rs 5 crore provided by the Gujarat government for Bihar flood relief in 2008. Kumar, who harbored prime ministerial ambitions , could not stand the BJP nominating Modi for the top job and pulled the plug in 2013 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The decision backfired spectacularly with the JD(U) reduced to two seats (from 20 in 2009) while the BJP was left with 22 (from 12). NDA allies LJP got six and RLSP three.
2017: Sensing his dwindling fortune, Kumar sided with Lalu Yadav’s RJD and Congress for the 2015 assembly elections and returned to power with Tejashwi Yadav as his deputy.
The alliance did not last and the CM returned to the NDA fold in 2017 citing corruption on the part of the RJD.
The change served Kumar well, as JD(U) improved their tally in the 2019 LS polls to 16, while BJP dropped to 17.
However, next year’s assembly polls dealt a heavy blow to Kumar, as his party won just 43 seats, down from the 71 it had won in 2015.
Meanwhile, the BJP rose from 53 to 74. The JD(U) was pushed to third place, and the RJD took first place with 75 seats.
2022: The latest turnaround was brewing since the last assembly polls, with Kumar furious at his party’s disastrous performance and holding the BJP responsible for Chirag Paswan sabotaging the prospects of JD(U) candidates in several seats.
After the Shiv Sena saga in Maharashtra, Kumar was convinced that the BJP would make an encore in Bihar with a starring role for his once-reliable aide RCP Singh.
BJP President JP Nadda’s boastful comment that only his party would remain standing and the others would wither may have helped Kumar make up his mind.
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