Bihar: JD(U)-BJP were wooing each other since months
On Wednesday evening, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar resigned as Bihar CM after a seemingly prolonged ideological battle with RJD. The step, he insisted, was due to differences with its ally over corruption allegations. Now he's back again as the CM with support from the BJP. One can't help but think: for how long were the two former allies wooing each other? For months, apparently.
Breaking up and the subsequent making up
BJP and JD(U) broke their 17-year-long alliance ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, over the projection of Narendra Modi as the NDA's PM candidate. But since allegations of massive corruption against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, his son and Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and the clan surfaced, BJP leaders have consistently assured support to JD(U) if Nitish left the RJD.
However, the making up was marred by in-party dissent
However, Nitish's growing closeness with the BJP seemed to have formed splits in his own party too. Reportedly, six of 12 JD(U) MPs in Parliament didn't want a tie-up with BJP. Other members were also considering charting their own course, sources said. A senior leader even predicted there's possibility of the party eventually splitting "if he mends ties with the saffron party".
The quick developments on the D-Day
Then things moved quickly on Wednesday: as Nitish resigned in Bihar, BJP held a parliamentary meet in Delhi and decided on a coalition government with the JD(U). PM Modi tweeted in approval of Nitish's move, congratulating him for "joining fight against corruption". Was the BJP meet in Delhi on the same day a coincidence? Irrespective, both parties played their cards right.
What's in the future?
This marks the end of the Mahagathbandhan, earlier seen as a game-changer for Bihar politics: what the other five allies- Congress, SP, SJP(R), RJD and JD(S)- do now remains to be seen. But the developments mark a high for the BJP: it helped establish corruption as a priority agenda for the ruling party and scored it an alliance with a major backward caste leader.