Nitish Kumar And His Alliances: Understanding The Chronology Since 2005
Throughout multiple alliances, Nitish Kumar has been the Chief Minister of Bihar since 2005 (except for a break in 2014).
Here's a chronology of his alliances and switches over the past two decades.
BJP-JD(U) Combine Denoted Hope--2005
Back in 2005, when Kumar was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar, with BJP as the ally, it was seen as a moment of 'liberation' for the state from corruption and lawlessness. The period of RJD at the helm of Bihar politics came to be notoriously known as ‘jungle-raj’.
The BJP-JD(U)-led government was seen as the anti-dote of decades of backwardness ushered in by Lalu Prasad Yadav’s regime.
Nitish Kumar Exits NDA--2013
In 2013, after more than a decade of stability within the JD(U)-BJP bloc, Kumar pulled out citing the elevation of Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. It was alleged then that Kumar eyed the post of prime ministership for himself. He was cheered by the critics of Modi for his “secular” stand.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Kumar’s JD(U) was virtually decimated in Bihar. It managed to win only two seats while the NDA won 31 out of 40 seats. Kumar resigned from the CM post, taking responsibility for the defeat and instated a Dalit face, Jitan Ram Manjhi as the CM.
However, a year later, Manjhi was asked to make way for Kumar, which he did, but not before registering his revolt.
Kumar stitched an alliance with the RJD and Congress for the 2015 Bihar elections and won handsomely over the BJP. RJD won 80 seats while JD(U) secured 71 seats against BJP’s 53.
Though Kumar managed to secure chief ministership, even as RJD had won more seats, fissures began to emerge in the Mahagathbandhan soon enough.
Breaks Off Alliance with RJD to Join NDA--2017
As RJD’s Lalu Yadav’s past came to haunt him, with CBI charge sheeting him in corruption cases, along with his son, Tejaswi Yadav, Kumar broke that alliance too.
He swiftly joined the BJP to form the government, once again retaining for himself the chief minister’s post.
Victory with NDA--2020
In the 2020 elections, both the parties went into the election as partners and emerged victorious. However, this time, BJP, at 74, secured more seats than the JD(U), which won only 43 seats.
There were demands from BJP’s Bihar state unit to make a leader from the party the CM. But the central leadership decided to back Nitish Kumar as the CM, to keep the alliance going.
Now, that Kumar has, once again, decided to jump the ship and shake hands with RJD, there is a sense of déjà vu.
However, there is also hope for the BJP Bihar’s state unit, which can now shed the baggage of an alliance partner and restore the organisation on its own merit.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.