Whatever Be Congress’ Offer, Nitish Kumar Gets Best Deal With NDA, And Probably Knows It

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar (AP Dube/Hindustan Times)

The Congress, according to this report in Hindustan, has said that if Nitish Kumar quits the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) then his inclusion in the Mahagathbandhan can be considered. In other words, Congress has extended an invite to Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) to rejoin the Mahagathbandhan, and hence, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

However, Nitish Kumar probably knows that the best deal in a Mahagathbandhan now, might end up as worse than the worst deal with the Bharatiya Janata Dal (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Here’s why. One, if Nitish jumps back to the UPA now, his political capital and legitimacy would suffer more than considerable attrition.

Two, using that, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) and the Congress in Bihar would try to exact the most from the JD(U). On top of this, they would also not shy from pointing out that in the last Lok Sabha election, all that the JD(U) could win in Bihar were two seats out of a total of 40. In such a scenario, how many seats would Nitish Kumar expect to win realistically, if he is seen as changing sides twice in two years.

Third, even in the next Vidhan Sabha election in Bihar, due in 2020, Nitish Kumar is better off fighting it as an ally of the BJP than the RJD. With RJD, Nitish Kumar faces two problems, which he doesn’t with the BJP. One, the baggage of corruption of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family, and two, always having to be wary of the chief ministerial ambitions, which Lalu Yadav has for his sons.

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