Highlights

  • Nitish calls alliance with BJP 'permanent'
  • Nitish Kumar says he will be with BJP 'forever'
  • Nitish broke alliance with RJD in January

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Nitish Kumar calls alliance with BJP 'permanent'

Nitish Kumar said that he has come back to the alliance he belongs to and the ties will now be permanent. 

Nitish Kumar calls alliance with BJP 'permanent'

Less than a month after he returned to the BJP-led NDA, a coalition he has quit twice in a decade, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday asserted his latest realignment was going to be "permanent" and would last "for ever".

Kumar, who is also the JD(U) president, was talking to reporters in Patna after returning from Delhi where he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda, among others.

"I have come back to the alliance where I belong, and from which I had been away for a while. Now I am going to be here for ever. Our ties will be permanent," claimed Kumar, whose latest volte-face has come as a blow to the opposition bloc INDIA, which he had helped form.

Notably, Kumar has been a BJP ally since 1996 when he was with the Samata Party headed by late George Fernandes. His first break up with the BJP was in 2013 when he quit the NDA in protest against the national ascendance of Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat.

He realigned with the BJP in 2017, only to sever ties five years later, when he accused the party of trying to weaken the JD(U).

The longest-serving CM of the state, who has been demanding central help like special category status and a special economic package, was also asked if he received any assurances during his Delhi trip.

Kumar did not give a direct reply, but said, "I have been working for Bihar's progress since 2005. There is no cause for worry. Everything has been discussed." He was also asked about anxieties with regard to the trust vote his government would seek on February 12, with Speaker Awadh Bihari Chaudhary, who belongs to the RJD, refusing to step down despite a no-confidence motion moved by NDA legislators.

Kumar dismissed all the apprehensions, saying, "There is nothing to worry about. Everything has been discussed, within my party and also with our alliance partners." His key aide Sanjay Kumar Jha, a JD(U) national general secretary and former minister who had accompanied Kumar on the Delhi tour, quipped "it is a number game, after all".

In the 243-strong assembly, the NDA, which includes four MLAs of former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha and an Independent, has 128 MLAs, six more than the majority mark.


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