Opposition leaders on Tuesday said that the decision of Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar to quit the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in Bihar is a strong indictment of the politics of intimidation practised by the saffron party.
Communist Party of India general secretary D Raja alleged that the authoritarianism practised by the BJP leaves no scope for cooperation with its allies.
“After Akalis [Akali Dal] and Shiv Sena, JD(U) is the latest example,” Raja wrote in a tweet. “Cracks are visible in the relationship of BJP and the AIADMK too.”
Kumar on Tuesday resigned as the chief minister of the state under the NDA government. Hours later, he staked claim to form a new government after being elected as the leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Grand Alliance.
The senior JD(U) leader will take oath as the chief minister of Bihar for the eighth time on Wednesday at 2 pm. Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav will be his deputy.
The relations between the BJP and the JD(U) have been worsening for some time because of disagreements over a host of matters such as the population control proposal, caste census, demand for special category status for Bihar and the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme, according to PTI.
On August 7, the JD(U) said it will not be a part of the expansion of Modi’s Union Cabinet. Kumar had also skipped the NITI Aayog meet chaired by the prime minister on the same day.
This is the second time Kumar has severed ties with the BJP.
In 2013, he left the NDA after Narendra Modi was announced as the coalition’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, in 2017, he left the Grand Alliance to rejoin the NDA.
On Tuesday, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh took a swipe at the Modi government saying what goes up must come down. He accused the saffron party of illegally toppling governments of the Opposition.
“In March 2020, Modi sarkar postponed Covid-19 lockdown to engineer the fall of the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh,” Ramesh claimed. “Now, it cuts short the Parliament session knowing its coalition government in Bihar is going.”
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien also alleged that the Parliament session was cut short due to the developments in Bihar.
The Monsoon Session of Parliament ended on Monday four days ahead of schedule as both Houses were adjourned sine die, or without a fixed date for resumption. The session was originally scheduled to be held between July 18 and August 12.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav described Kumar’s decision to walk out of the BJP alliance a “good beginning”, PTI reported.
“If the slogan of ‘BJP bhagaao’ [drive away the BJP] is coming from Bihar, I feel that in other states also, parties will stand against the BJP, and so will people,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and Union minister Ashwini Choubey accused Kumar of being opportunistic and said that those betraying Bihar want to create obstacles to its development.
“Despite having lesser seats, we made him [Kumar] the chief minister,” Choubey said. “He has deceived the people twice. He is suffering from arrogance.”
Union minister Giriraj Singh said the BJP had acknowledged Kumar as a chief ministerial candidate first in 1996 when it was a much bigger party, PTI reported.
“He [Kumar] had prime ministerial ambition in 2013 and found a reason to separate with the BJP, and the same desire has gotten hold of him again,” Singh said
Former Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said Kumar is insulting the mandate of the public to enjoy power.