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Mumbai: Attacking Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for dumping the Mahagathbandhan and switching his side to the NDA, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar on Sunday said that the public will teach a lesson to the JD (U) chief in the future. Speaking to ANI, Pawar, however, said that he has no idea why Nitish Kumar took the step to forge his alliance with the NDA.

“On the contrary, he was playing a role against the BJP. I don’t know what happened suddenly, but the public will definitely teach him a lesson for his role in the future…” he said. Pawar, the chief of the NCP, a party among others in the INDIA bloc, said that such a situation had never been seen before in such a short period of time.

“Whatever happened in Patna, such a situation was never seen before in such a short period of time…I remember it was Nitish Kumar who had called all the non-BJP parties to Patna…His role was also similar but what happened in the last 10-15 days that he left this ideology and today he joined BJP and formed the government…In the last 10 days, it did not seem that he would take such a step,” Pawar added.

JDU leader Nitish Kumar’s move to end his alliance with the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal to revive his tie-up with the BJP comes as a massive setback to the INDIA bloc months before it takes on the formidable BJP in Lok Sabha polls.

Nitish Kumar, after parting ways with the BJP in 2022, took on the initiative of uniting all opposition forces to jointly take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling party in the national election.

On Sunday, Nitish Kumar took the oath as Chief Minister of Bihar for the ninth time in Raj Bhawan, Patna, switching sides again, this time with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

It was for the second time in two years that Nitish Kumar had jumped the ship, his fifth crossover in a little over a decade, preceding his ninth time as chief minister.

Two Deputy CMs from the BJP, Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha, and six other ministers, including Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Santosh Kumar Suman, Shrawan Kumar, and others, also took the oath today.

Nitish Kumar cited the state of affairs being “not right” under the Mahagathbandhan alliance as his reason for quitting. He said that he has been receiving suggestions from everywhere, including his party workers, and he listened to all of them to come to this decision.

“I have resigned as the CM today and have asked the Governor to put an end to this government. Party leaders were giving me advice. I heard what they said and have resigned. The situation was not good. So, we have broken ties,” Nitish Kumar told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan.

Kumar’s decision to align with the BJP led to accusations of him being a “chameleon” and “Paltu Ram” for his frequent shifts in political allegiance.
Tejashwi Yadav, former deputy and RJD leader predicted that JD(U) is on the verge of being “finished” in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Calling Nitish Kumar a ‘tired CM’, Yadav said, “Khel abhi shuru hua hai, khel abhi baki hain. What I say, I do…I can give you in writing that the JDU party will be finished in 2024. The public is with us…”

The BJP, however, said its alliance with Kumar was “natural” and asserted that the “double engine government” of the NDA would benefit Bihar. Party leaders also claimed that the INDIA bloc would soon disintegrate as the alliance has “no ideological basis”.

Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge has also said that Kumar’s move to split from Mahagathbandhan and to join the NDA was ‘pre-planned’ and accused the JD(U) Chief of keeping the INDIA bloc in the dark.

Speaking to ANI, the Congress President alleged that the JD(U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ‘planned’ to break the INDIA bloc as such decisions can not be taken in a hurry.

“Such decisions can not be taken in a hurry…This shows that it was all pre-planned. To break the INDIA alliance they (BJP-JD(U)) planned all this… He (Nitish Kumar) kept us in the dark, he kept Lalu Yadav in the dark,” Kharge said.