Nitish Kumar Return to NDA
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has pulled off another surprise by abandoning the INDIA grouping, which he had helped form a few months ago, and returned to the National Democratic Alliance, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the process, he became the first person in the country to be sworn in as Bihar's Chief Minister for the ninth time. He has served as Chief Minister of the State for the previous 18 years, with the support of either the BJP or its opponents, including the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Congress, and the Left parties.
Ironically, it was Nitish Kumar who called the first opposition party conference in Patna around half a year ago in an attempt to unite opposition parties in order to take on the National Democratic Alliance and the BJP, led by Narendra Modi. Following that, other opposition party meetings were held in various locations to devise a coordinated plan of action to confront the National Democratic Alliance, led by the BJP, which is now in power. The goal was to make sure that at least one opposition candidate faced off against the ruling alliance in each constituency at the parliamentary elections scheduled for this year, 2024.
Given that multiple political parties are vying for the same popular mandate in different states and areas, this was not a simple assignment. Due to various parties' focus on the Assembly elections in five states last year, the exercise was further postponed. One contributing reason was the Congress, the main opposition party, which was reluctant to place the highest emphasis on resolving the issues before the newly formed INDIA conglomerate. The Congress may have believed that it would prevail in discussions for seat distribution in the Lok Sabha elections if it won the Assembly elections in several of the five states that were scheduled for polling. However, upon the release of the Assembly election results, the Congress was unable to retain or win any of the three Hindi heartland states, and had to be content with a victory in Telangana.
Nitish Kumar may have come to feel as things progressed that the opposition alliance is unable to topple the coalition led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling party. He seems to have made the decision to ditch the INDIA combination and patch things up with the ruling party and coalition led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after coming to this realization.It won't become evident whether he made the correct decision or not for several months until the general election results are in.
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