oppn parties Closed BJP Doors Open Again For Nitish Kumar

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oppn parties
Closed BJP Doors Open Again For Nitish Kumar

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2024-01-29 14:54:12

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

Even a chameleon would be jealous of the way Nitish Kumar changes colours and the Congress is right in saying that he gives tough competition to the reptile. He has dumped both the Mahagatbandhan and the I.N.D.I.A alliance but still remains the chief minister of Bihar with NDA support. This will be his fifth flip-flop in 10 years - he first switched sides in 2013 when he ended his alliance with the BJP after Narendra Modi was chosen as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. At all times, he has played his cards in such a way as to remain the chief minister. He has assumed office for a record 9th term. This has earned him the moniker 'Paltu Kumar' (meaning the one who switches sides easily).

But this time, it has been a strange journey for Kumar. He was the architect of opposition unity as he was the one who spent time and energy and used his goodwill with all opposition parties to stitch together a loose alliance with the hope that he would be allowed to lead it. Yet, within months of hard negotiations and camaraderie (false?) with assorted opposition leaders, Nitish Kumar has once again changed colours. It is being said that after Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal proposed Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge's name as chairperson of the I.N.D.I.A alliance and it was accepted by other parties, Kumar knew that he will not get primacy in the bloc. He also felt that his job as chief minister was threatened with the RJD having a majority. Hence, he gave the excuse that nothing right was happening, both in Bihar and in the opposition alliance, to move to the BJP.

That there are no permanent friends or foes in politics was proved once again. When he left the NDA last time, Kumar had categorically said that he would never go back to them. Home minister Amit Shah was also furious at his 'betrayal' after the Bihar assembly elections and had said that the doors of BJP were permanently closed for him. But here they are - married once again after an acrimonious divorce. But the surprising thing is that how such an untrustworthy person like him is frequently trusted by people across the political spectrum? All parties know that he cannot be trusted yet they trust him when it comes to the crunch. Is it because politicians care little about long term benefits and are focused mainly on short term gains?

Note: The word snollygoster (meaning a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially politician) in the lead picture was first used by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for Nitish Kumar in 2017.