Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday gave a push to an agenda that appeared similar to his Orissa counterpart Naveen Patnaik’s decision to split with the BJP just before the assembly polls in the neighbouring state last year.
In a repeat snub to his long-time ally and ruling coalition partner since 2005, Kumar returned to Gujarat Rs 5 crore the Narendra Modi government had given to Bihar when the state was devastated by floods in 2008.
By doing this, Kumar was as good as his word on June 12, when he had expressed indignation at an advertisement that flaunted the Gujarat government’s generosity towards Bihar, and said any money that was not utilised would be returned.
Some see Kumar’s reaction as a possible step towards a parting of ways with the BJP in the upcoming elections in the state. If that happens it will be a big blow to the BJP as the party on its own is unlikely to win many seats in Bihar.
JD(U) Legislative Council member Sambhu Nath Srivastava said, “Kumar should sever ties with the BJP in an honourable manner.”
The BJP slurred over Kumar's announcement on Saturday.
BJP chief spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad described Kumar’s action as “a clearly avoidable and unnecessary act”.