NEW DELHI: BJP is learnt to have got a sense from certain quarters that Nitish Kumar could jump the NDA ship yet again, but the party leadership could not fully anticipate his plan to form an alliance with RJD, which was his principal target of attack during the 2020 assembly polls as he highlighted corruption charges against Lalu Prasad and his family. He had broken away from the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ over the issue of law and order.
Kumar had not only pledged in the state assembly that he would die but never return to an alliance with RJD but had also campaigned vigorously against Lalu Prasad’s party. The differences between the two had grown to the extent that it it was Lalu who coined the term “Paltu Ram” for Nitish.

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On the other hand, BJP leaders preferred to refer to Nitish as “Susashan Babu” after the two parties ran a successful government in the state and the law and order situation improved while they used the “jungle raj” plank to target RJD.
“Nitish is a snake. Just just like a snake sheds its skin, so does Nitish every two years,” Lalu Prasad had tweeted in August 2017. This was circulated by BJP sympathisers on Tuesday when Kumar aligned with RJD once again.

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The differences between BJP and JD(U) had become public during protests against the Agnipath scheme when houses and properties of saffron leaders, including state president Sanjay Jaiswal and deputy chief minister Renu Devi, were attacked.
Since then, BJP leaders had become more aggressive with central leaders, including Union home minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda, visiting the state to expand the party footprint, a move which seems to have compounded Nitish’s list of complaints.

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BJP’s grand celebration of the birth anniversary of 1857 revolt hero Kunwar Singh in his native village in Arrah district, where Amit Shah was present as the chief guest and a huge rally was organised, also irked Nitish.
The party’s largescale celebration of one of the most celebrated icons of the state was in contrast with the state government’s simple celebrations featuring the chief minister in Patna.

BJP’s recent meeting of the party’s all morchas in Patna, in which Shah and Nadda were present, also seems to have made Nitish restive as the Bihar CM had always been wary of BJP’s expansion plans in the state.

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