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Bihar: JD-U Denies Rumours of Nitish Kumar Dumping INDIA Bloc for Return to NDA

According to JD-U leaders here, a message from the party's meetings is clear: Kumar is with the Opposition INDIA bloc and would work to unite and consolidate it.
Nitish kumar

Patna: All eyes are on Bihar Chief Nitish Kumar a day after he was elected national president of JD-U (Janata Dal-United) as there is a buzz over his rumoured next political move. Will he dump the ruling Mahagathbandhan, which includes RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal), Congress and Left parties, and Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) to join hands with the saffron party again ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections?

Top BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leaders of Bihar, including union ministers, have dismissed reports of Kumar's return to NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and claimed that BJP doors are closed for him. 

After Kumar replaced Lallan Singh as party president on Friday during a national executive meeting of the party in New Delhi, senior JD-U leader KC Tyagi reportedly termed the reports of Kumar's likely return to NDA as mere propaganda by leaders of BJP. 

At the same time, Tyagi said that the party has differences, but the BJP is not an enemy; he also made it clear that JD-U would participate in the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya if invited.

Tyagi's remarks are seen here as a part of Kumar's strategy to play politics. Besides, Kumar is known for bargaining hard for more seats to contest in polls. With the next elections a few months away and the seat-sharing process starting in the opposition alliance, Kumar will likely play his old game to get a decent share from RJD and Congress for his party.

There was no reaction from RJD and Congress except that they congratulated Kumar, who was elected as party president.

A political watcher here said it is impossible to read Kumar's mind because his political decisions were based on his conscience in the past.

"Even senior JD-U leaders, considered close to him, hardly know about Kumar's next decision; only Kumar knew what would be his next move; let us wait. All reports are speculations, nothing more than that."

However, some JD-U leaders said the party is a strong part of the opposition alliance INDIA and Kumar, as party president, is set to play an important role in further consolidating it to take on BJP in next year's elections.

"The party (JD-U) has authorised in its meetings in Delhi that Kumar will negotiate seat-sharing talks with the opposition block INDIA and would start a countrywide campaign to defeat BJP from January 2024," a party leader said.

JD-U's resolutions passed in its meetings also demanded a countrywide caste census.

According to JD-U leaders here, a message from the party's meetings is clear: Kumar is with the opposition block INDIA and would work to unite and consolidate it.

Since the name of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge was proposed as Prime Ministerial candidate at the fourth meeting of the Opposition alliance in Delhi on December 19, some local Hindi dailies and national media claimed that Kumar was "unhappy".

Singh was reportedly forced to resign as JD-U president because Kumar was unhappy and disliked his growing closeness to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. 

As per media reports, Singh reportedly favoured Lalu Prasad Yadav's stand that Kumar should quit as Chief Minister and make Tejashwi Yadav the new CM. Tejashwi Yadav is currently the Deputy Chief Minister.

As per rumours, Singh allegedly tried to split JD-U and hold a secret meeting with a group of at least 12 party MLAs. Singh refuted all such reports in the media and threatened to sue them in court.

"All such reports are cooked, baseless and far from the truth. It was a part of a conspiracy to malign and defame me by vested interest," Singh clarified in a letter released to the media.

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