'Will 2014 winner be back in '24?' Nitish Kumar's question for Modi amid chatter of PM post aim
Once once seen as a potential rival to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar on Tuesday broke ranks with the BJP-led NDA coalition to stake claim as head of the rival ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) to be Bihar chief minister for the eighth time.
Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar chief minister on Wednesday.
Fuming over yet another volte face by an old ally, BJP accused Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of being a “habitual betrayer" who was pushing Bihar into the abyss of lawlessness and corruption by entering into a fresh alliance with the RJD.
In a statement issued after core committee meeting at the state headquarters, the party announced that it will stage massive protests (mahadharnas) against the betrayal by the JD(U) leader across all districts on Wednesday which will be followed by agitations at the block level a day later.
If chatter in political circles of is to be believed, this move by Nitish Kumar to start a fresh innings as chief minister with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as his deputy is a strategic one aimed at the Prime Minister post.
However, right after the oath taking, when he was asked about the speculation over his ultimate aim of PM chair, Nitish Kumar said he is not a contender for “any such post" but also left a question for PM Modi.
“Those who came to power in 2014, will they be victorious in 2024? I would like all [opposition] to be united for 2024. I am not a contender for any such post [on PM post], Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said after taking oath on Tuesday.
While many in Opposition, Nitish Kumar’s decision to break ties with the BJP was a coup but sources privy to the developments have said that Nitish Kumar will stay as chief minister for the next 8-10 months, handover the responsibility to Tejashwi Yadav and then pursue his perceived PM ambition for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.