For over a fortnight now, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been on a “personal” excursion, covering two areas that are his strongest base in the condition, assembly individuals, registering grievances, collecting applications. One particular of the little breaks he took was to go to Yogi Adityanath’s swearing-in in Lucknow, where by he publicly appeared to lose any last vestiges of animosity in the direction of Primary Minister Narendra Modi.
So what specifically is Nitish, the consummate politician identified to weigh his each and every move, up to? Particularly as elections are at the very least two decades absent – Lok Sabha in 2024 and Bihar in 2025. Bihar is abuzz, discussing quite a few choices.
Nitish has been touring Barh, which has ceased to exist as a constituency adhering to delimitation, and Nalanda, represented by him 5 instances in Parliament as nicely as twice in the Assembly. A typical theme is the CM expressing his gratitude to persons for putting their religion in him. He has dropped in on previous good friends, party personnel and even next and third generations of individuals who have served him.
With MLC polls coming soon and a model code of perform in place, there is no converse of politics or any speech-generating, and much more emphasis on reforging particular ties. At some spots nevertheless, Nitish reminds the men and women gently of his governance report, notably the time when Bihar didn’t even have appropriate roads.
All through the Mokama vacation a fortnight ago, Nitish met the spouse of former BJP chief Vaidyanath Sharma, who had launched Nitish to the late BJP chief and PM Atal Behari Vajpayee.
JD(U) staff close to Nitish declare he has been wanting to do this sort of a tour for a extensive time. Having said that, observers wonder regardless of whether this is Nitish signing off from point out politics – a little something he has said he is completely ready to do. Usual of his vacillating politics, there is a third group who say just the opposite – that the JD(U) chief desires to convey to ally BJP the stolidity of his assist foundation and his “indispensability”.
The journey by the way coincides with the sharp exchange of words and phrases between Nitish and Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha not too long ago, wherever the CM questioned Sinha’s tackling of an difficulty in the Home. With Sinha’s occasion BJP taking umbrage, Nitish might be trying to stave off warmth. The Lucknow appearance – wherever Nitish was the only non-BJP CM on phase – may be component of that.
Some others see another concentrate on in Nitish’s line of eyesight – R C P Singh. After the unofficial JD(U) No. 2 and one particular of Nitish’s closest aides, Singh has been drifting away from the CM since getting around as Union minister in 2020. Nitish was reportedly towards the transfer as he had earlier refused the BJP’s delivers of just a submit or two for the JD(U) in the Union Cupboard. Singh is now the only JD(U) minister at the Centre.
The JD(U) organisational basic secretary and afterwards its nationwide president for several years, Singh has deep contacts at the grassroots. Nitish may perhaps be trying to neutralise this by reviving his previous connections in the celebration.
Incidentally, accompanying Nitish throughout the journey is Manish Verma, a fellow Kurmi and aide. Verma also takes place to be a previous IAS officer who took voluntary retirement to choose up his new assignment just like Singh after did.
However one more conjecture is that Nitish might be paving the floor for return to Parliament as the MP from Nalanda in 2024. The BJP has currently overtaken the JD(U) as the senior husband or wife in the alliance, owning won extra seats amongst the two in the 2020 Assembly elections. With the merger of all the a few Vikassheel Insaan Social gathering MLAs with it, the BJP is now the greatest section in the Assembly – a reversal of fortunes Nitish is barely likely to be comfy with.