Will Nitish Kumar Retain Bihar CM Post? Here’s What BJP Has to Say

Nitish Kumar’s abysmal performance has created an anti-incumbency sentiment in the state.

3 min read
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Image used for representational purposes.

Even though the JD(U)-led NDA on Tuesday, 10 November, returned to power in Bihar with a slim majority of 125 seats, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) could only manage to win 43 seats, whereas the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) emerged to be the single-largest party in the state with 75 seats.

The JD(U)‘s performance has raised many questions within the political circles, with this Nitish Kumar’s dream to come back as the chief minister depends on the big brother ally – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

So will Nitish Kumar take control of the driver’s seat again?

“Nitish ji will remain Chief Minister as it was our commitment. There is no confusion on this,” the BJP's Sushil Kumar Modi and Deputy Chief Minister said.

Sushil Modi further added, “In an alliance, not all parties win an equal number of seats. Who won how many seats is irrelevant, people voted for NDA. BJP played a role in JD(U)'s victory and JD(U) played a role in BJP's victory,” ANI quoted Sushil Modi as saying.

“JD(U), BJP, VIP and HAM worked together, then we registered this victory,” said Modi.

While speaking to news agency ANI, Sushil Kumar Modi said that people of Bihar have expressed their faith in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the fourth time, which is not an ordinary situation.

He went on to say that in Indian politics, there are very few CMs whom people have trusted for the fourth time and added: “They have given a clear mandate to the NDA, there is no confusion.”

Meanwhile, another source told NDTV that “the balance of power is likely to be different.”

On Tuesday, before the results were announced, BJP’s Bihar Unit President Sanjay Jaiswal told The Indian Express that the party’s “bosses” have already declared that Nitish Kumar is going to be the Chief Minister of Bihar.

“When we decided to be partners, our then national president Amit Shah had said that the NDA would be led by Nitish Kumar. So, it stands,” Jaiswal said.

When BJP’s senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya was questioned about NDA’s performance before the results were announced on Tuesday, Vijayvargiya said: “By evening, we will decide on the issues of government formation and leadership,” according to NDTV.

The statement indicates the uncertainty about the leadership in Bihar.

Will Nitish Kumar’s Abysmal Performance Hamper the CM’s Position?

However, there are voices that might disagree within the party.

A senior BJP leader told The Indian Express that the party is keeping its options open. The BJP will offer Nitish Kumar the Chief Minister’s position, but it may review the decision after six months or one year, while another leader stated that there isn’t any confusion about the post.

BJP leader Sanjay Paswan suggested that the CM’s post might be up for reconsideration.

“It’s a victory for the BJP and Prime Minister Modi. But as per our promises, we are committed to offering the Chief Minister’s post to Nitish Kumar. It’s up to the morality of Nitish Kumar to decide what to do,” The Indian Express quoted Paswan as saying.

With the BJP emerging as the single-largest party within the NDA, it is possible that the party will have a larger share in the Cabinet and plum portfolios.

Even though one leader says that the portfolio share will be on “a mutually agreed formula,” reported The Indian Express.

On Tuesday, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi had said that the performance of the party has been affected due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Nitish Kumar’s abysmal performance has created an anti-incumbency sentiment in the state.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and NDTV)

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