Amid BJP-JDU Snubs, Nitish Attends Both Paswan and Manjhi’s Iftar
Earlier, BJP and JDU leaders had skipped each others’ Iftar parties.
Amid a series of snubs handed over by NDA allies BJP and JDU to each other, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday, 3 June, attended two Iftar parties – one hosted by another ally LJP’s chief Ram Vilas Paswan and the other by Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Manjhi, who is a former chief minister of the state, was part of the Opposition alliance, including Congress and RJD, in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election.
Notably, in Paswan’s party, Nitish had Deputy Chief Minister BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi for his company while Manjhi’s party was attended by Rabri Devi, though Nitish reportedly reached the venue after she left.
BJP-JDU Shadow Boxing
Following the huge victory of the Narendra Modi-led NDA in the Lok Sabha elections, Nitish Kumar refused to be part of the Cabinet, as it found the BJP’s move to allot just one ministerial berth to its allies “unacceptable” and demanded "proportional representation".
JDU won 16 of the 17 seats it had contested in the elections.
After attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi's oath ceremony, Nitish Kumar had said, "No one should have any confusion that the victory which was registered by NDA in Bihar – it's the victory of the people of Bihar. If somebody is claiming that this is his personal victory, then they are delusional."
Days later, as Nitish expanded the Bihar state Cabinet and included eight new ministers, he offered just one berth to the BJP. The move was widely seen as a reply to BJP’s snub.
Further, on Sunday, news agency ANI reported that BJP leaders had given a miss to the yearly iftar hosted by JDU. Similarly, no JDU leader was seen at the iftar hosted by Sushil Modi.
However, Nitish has repeatedly denied any misunderstanding between the NDA allies.
Opposition Senses Opportunity
Amid the rumoured rumblings in the NDA, the Opposition parties have now sensed an opportunity and is apparently sending feelers to Nitish.
According to an NDTV report, RJD Vice President Raghuvansh Prasad Singh told thr media that time has come for reuniting as the BJP will only "humiliate and insult" Nitish.
The party’s spokesperson Manoj Jha told news agency ANI that the public has to bear the brunt of “political strain” between these two parties, as they came together to “betray the people”.
Congress leader Tariq Anwar outlined JDU's missing representation from the Union Cabinet to assert that everything doesn't seem right between the two parties, reported ANI.
After hosting Nitish at his Iftar party, Manjhi reportedly said that “there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics".
(With inputs from NDTV and ANI)
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