Crisis in Bihar politics: Why did Nitish Kumar leave Grand Alliance?

Fall of Mahagathbandhan in Bihar


The Grand Alliance in Bihar was perhaps always meant to run into the ground one day or the other. There were problems in it right from the outset. There were far too many contradictions and the alliance was being headed by a chief minister – Nitish Kumar in this case – who was not exactly pleased with the restrictions that had been placed on him by the other members of the alliance. Still then, the alliance would not have come undone if there were not lingering doubts about how faithful Kumar was to the alliance and its cause. People in Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)), the one headed by Kumar, have however stated that he was not satisfied with how ministers nominated by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the party led by Lalu Prasad Yadav, had been behaving.

They said that these ministers were taking their directions from Yadav instead of Kumar as should have been the case. It was only when Kumar received a report from a trustworthy source that Yadav had a deal on the table for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that really did it for the chief minister (CM) of Bihar. These sources have also stated that representatives of Yadav had actually gone to a couple of union ministers of BJP in the hope that the carpet could be pulled off from under Kumar’s feet.

The newest CM of Bihar

Kumar took oath at the morning on July 27 as the latest CM of Bihar and it is expected that Sushil Modi would be his deputy. The remaining ministers will be taking their oath after Kumar wins, as is expected, the trust vote at the Bihar legislative assembly on July 27. However, around 14 hours back he had resigned from the position and this had ended his alliance of the last two years with Yadav and Congress. Incidentally, Modi is a BJP leader and with this latest change he also gets back his old spot of deputy CM back.

How did the drama unfold?

The Grand Alliance saw the ultimate transformation on the evening of July 26. Just about 60 minutes after Yadav had stated that the alliance remained free of any infighting or bitterness as such Kumar went ahead and put forward his resignation as the Bihar CM. It took Kumar just around five hours to demolish the alliance and get back with his old friends – BJP. In fact, news channels around the country had been reporting cracks in Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance in Hindi). Things had reached such a head that the allies did not even organize a combined meet of legislators prior to the monsoon session of the Bihar Assembly.

Kumar had tendered his resignation to Keshari Nath Tripathi, the Governor of Bihar. The decision to do so had been taken at a meeting of the members of legislative assembly (MLAs) of JD(U) earlier on in the same evening. Kumar received supported the decision of his MLAs in this step. It is expected that this decision would only make the rivalry between JD(U) and RJD even more bitter than it already is. This situation is also likely to be discussed when the parliamentary board of BJP meets on July 27.