Miffed with BJP, Nitish Kumar says 'didn't want CM post'
Less than two months after he was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Bihar for a fourth straight term, Nitish Kumar on Sunday said he was never greedy for the chair and that ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is free to make its own CM. The Janata Dal (United) is clearly upset with the fact that six of its MLAs joined BJP in Arunachal Pradesh.
Last week, six MLAs of JD(U) jumped ships, leaving the party with merely one legislator in the 60-seated Assembly. BJP's strength now stands at 48. Angry with BJP's poaching tactics, KC Tyagi of the JD(U) had said, "We are surprised at the development. It goes against the basic rules of alliance dharma." He also pointed out that the Arunachal government wasn't under threat.
"The party has expressed its deep anguish, displeasure, protest on Arunachal Pradesh development. The partners should follow the 'alliance politics' as was practiced during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure or being followed in Bihar for the past 15 years," Tyagi was quoted by PTI.
To note, CM Kumar had earlier said whatever happened in the Northeastern state won't affect the politics in Bihar, hinting that there was no bad blood between the allies. But his statement on Sunday reflected that he is upset. Reminding that he didn't want to become CM after results were out, he said, "BJP could make its own Chief Minister."
To recall, in the recent Assembly polls, JD(U)'s performance was terrible — it only managed to leave Congress behind. However, BJP emerged as the bigger partner in the alliance for the first time in years, by winning 74 seats. After the results, speculations surfaced that Kumar might not become the CM, but BJP stuck to its pre-poll promise and he took the oath.
The poor performance of JD(U) also gave the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) an opportunity to slam Kumar. Manoj Jha of the party had said Kumar wants to head the state again after winning just 40 seats. "If you still get the post, only God knows how long will this illusion last," he had said earlier. As opposed to JD(U)'s 43 seats, RJD won 75.
It's important to highlight that JD(U) wasn't pleased with BJP even during electioneering as the latter failed to rein in Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), led by Chirag Paswan. JD(U) members believed LJP ate into its vote share. Earlier, Kumar had commented that BJP should decide on LJP's fate. Already upset due to a number of reasons, JD(U)'s reaction to Arunachal development isn't surprising.
On a related note, JD(U) also deflected with the saffron party on the anti-conversion laws, passed by a string of BJP CMs. Yesterday, JD(U) passed a resolution against the laws, saying it's meant to create "social hatred and division within society." "It is in our Constitution that any adult male and female can marry with consent provided that there is no deception," Tyagi underlined.