Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will soon merge his Janata Dal-United (JDU) with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), helmed by his foe-turned-ally, claimed senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Modi on Tuesday.
The Rajya Sabha member also claimed that their possible move is already being discussed by people in the political corridors of Patna, prompting fears among JDU legislators that they could lose their seats.
“Many JDU MLAs are unhappy with Nitish Kumar joining the Grand Alliance. They fear that in the next election, RJD leaders could be fielded on the Assembly seats currently held by them,” he said.
“So, they (JDU legislators) want to return to the BJP. Many JDU leaders are in touch with the BJP, he claimed, adding that the saffron party will take a decision at an appropriate time.
Modi was the sensational claims while interacting with media persons during campaigning for Gopalganj by-elections.
The BJP was in alliance with the JDU before Nitish pulled out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and joined hands with Tejashwi Yadav, now the deputy chief minister, earlier this year.
“Nitish Kumar is afraid of the breakdown of his party. He feels that if the merger takes place, the number of party MLAs in the House will increase. In such a situation, it will be difficult for MLAs to change the party,” Modi said.
Predicting the end of Nitish Kumar-centric politics in Bihar, Modi said the state strongman will not become chief minister again. “That is why he is in a hurry to merge the JDU with the RJD,” he added.
In August 2022, the Mahagathbandhan – a mega alliance of the JDU, the RJD, Congress, Hindustan Awam Morcha and Left Front formed the majority government in Bihar after JDU fell out with the BJP over a slew of issues including caste-based census and the saffron party’s pressure tactics.