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Bihar: Mahagathbandhan is Strong and Intact, Contrary to Reports

Amid reports of a likely break-up of the alliance, Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav showed a united face on the first day of the monsoon session.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. Image Courtesy: PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: All is well in ruling Mahagathbandhan in Bihar, it is intact, and there is no danger to the state government led by Nitish Kumar. This is strongly expressed and demonstrated by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is defacto chief of JD-U (Janata Dal-United) and RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) leader and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, the younger son of party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Amid reports that differences are widening in Mahagathbandhan and it is on the verge of break up, Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav not only refuted it on the first day of the monsoon session of the state Assembly, they tried to show a united face of Mahagathbandhan. 

Both Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi, along with Bihar Forest, Environment and Climate Change minister Tej Pratap Yadav, arrived at the Assembly in a vehicle and attended a meeting of MLAs of Mahagathbandhan.

It was a move to convey that Mahagathbandhan is strong and intact. During the meeting, they dismissed any possibility of any split or break-up in Mahagathbandhan and urged MLAs of RJD and JD-U not to issue any statement that creates trouble. They also asked everyone to avoid indulging in a war of words to provide an opportunity for opposition BJP leaders to spread rumours of the likely break up of Mahagathbandhan, a senior JD-U leader told NewsClick.

In the last few days, a few RJD and JD-U leaders were engaged in a war of words over the differences between Bihar Education minister Chandrasekhar and his department's top IAS officer on the style of functioning.

Nitish Kumar refused to say anything about the opposition BJP MLAs' demand to sack Tejashwi Yadav or force him to resign. 

Without naming BJP, Nitish Kumar said that the media is fully under control and function as per orders. 

Soon after the monsoon session started, BJP MLAs demanded that Tejashwi Yadav should either resign or Nitish Kumar should sack him after the chargesheet in land for jobs case by CBI.

On Sunday night, Tejashwi Yadav denied claims of a rift between RJD and JD-U and termed it was BJP's "old game" to spread political rumours.

"BJP is scared of Mahagathbandan and opposition unity move and targeting us. This party has a different yardstick for those opposing it and those leaders joining it. The latest example has come to the surface in Maharashtra. It is widely reported that some leaders were described as corrupt by the BJP there till recent months, but as soon as they joined the NDA, everything was clean, and one became the deputy CM. It is simple if one joins hands with BJP, they become honest from corrupt."

Since last week, leaders of BJP and its likely allies before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections have been issuing statements that Mahagathbandhan is set to break up and demanding Nitish Kumar end his party alliance with RJD because of a fresh charge sheet against Tejashwi Yadav.

BJP MLAs are likely to protest in the Assembly on Tuesday. The leader of the opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha told the media that Nitish Kumar would have to make a statement on the sacking of Tejashwi Yadav, and the saffron party would continue to demand the resignation of the deputy chief minister.

Sinha recalled that in 2017, Kumar severed ties with RJD after Tejashwi Yadav's name was figured in the FIR in a corruption case.

Former Bihar CM and RJD MLC Rabri Devi, the mother of Tejashwi Yadav, attacked BJP and prime minister Narendra Modi for framing false cases against rivals who challenged and questioned them.

"BJP is using central agencies against opposition leaders to silence them. Only opposition leaders like Tejashwi Yadav are being named in corruption cases and chargesheeted by CBI. Opposition leaders face an onslaught of central agencies like CBI, ED and IT department because they oppose BJP and Modi."

Devi also defended her son and rejected the BJP's demand for his resignation, saying this is not the first charge sheet in the case by the CBI.

Interestingly, local Hindi media, including TV news channels and dailies, are reporting as Mahagathbabdhan is in ICU and may end any day.

Since last September, after Nitish Kumar dumped BJP, forged a Mahagathbandhan, and formed the government, he has repeatedly urged all opposition parties to fight together in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections to defeat BJP.

The BJP's top leadership, including Modi and Shah, are reportedly worried about facing the next elections alone in Bihar because the party has been left with only one ally in the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Union minister Pasupati Kumar Paras, which has no MLA in the Assembly and is considered a spent force. 

The BJP is trying hard to join hands with four or five small parties like LJP (Lok Janshakti Party) (Ramvilas) of Chirag Paswan, Upendra Kushwaha's RLJP (Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party), VIP (Vikassheel Insaan Party)of Mukesh Sahni and HAM (Hindustani Awam Morcha) of Jitan Ram Manjhi.

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