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‘Little pressure, and he makes a U-turn’: Rahul Gandhi’s first reaction to Nitish Kumar’s switch

In his first reaction to Nitish Kumar’s umpteenth flip, Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday that it only takes ‘little pressure’ for the Bihar chief minister to take a U-turn.

Gandhi’s comment on Nitish Kumar’s switch

“Why did he (Kumar) come under pressure? Because in Bihar, our alliance has put one thing in front of the people: in this yatra (march), we have been speaking about five ‘nyays’ (justice). One of those ‘nyays’ is social justice… you can also call it participation or equity,” Gandhi said in Bihar’s Purnia, a day after his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ (Unite India Justice March) entered the state from the neighboring West Bengal.

On Sunday, the veteran politician returned to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and became chief minister for a ninth time. This came after his Janata Dal (United), in August 2022, exited the NDA to join the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) constituted by Gandhi’s Congress; the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Left parties.

Also read | Doomed PM Dream Pushed Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Back To BJP

In 2017, the Kumar-led JD(U) joined the NDA from the Mahagathbandhan; it exited the BJP-led coalition in 2013 too.

Gandhi, meanwhile, also cracked a ‘joke’ on his now-former ally, taking a jibe at the latter’s frequent switches: “Your chief minister left for his residence after taking oath at the Governor House. In his car, Nitish Ji realized that he left his shawl at the Governor’s House. On seeing him, the Governor says, ‘You’re back already!’”

The JD(U) chief’s exit also marks a major setback for INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), a bloc of 28 opposition parties formed in July last year to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and deny them a third consecutive term. Considered the ‘architect’ of the bloc, Kumar was allegedly upset at not being made its convenor, and the Congress’ alleged ‘hijacking’ of the bloc.

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