How surprised Sharad Pawar reacted to Nitish Kumar's exit from INDIA bloc | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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How surprised Sharad Pawar, others reacted to Nitish Kumar's exit from INDIA bloc

Jan 29, 2024 09:32 AM IST

While Sharad Pawar wondered what led to the change of heart of Nitish Kumar, he said the public will teach a lesson to the JD(U) in the future.

Nationalist Congress Party veteran Sharad Pawar seems to have been taken aback by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's decision to exit from the 'mahagathbandhan' or the grand alliance of the Opposition and join hands with his old ally NDA led by the Bharatiya Janata Pary on Sunday.

(From left) RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai. (HT photo)
(From left) RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai. (HT photo)

While the NCP chief wondered what led to the change of heart of the Janata Dal (United) president, who was one of the main architects behind the INDIA bloc, formed to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, he said the public will teach a lesson to Nitish Kumar in the future.

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Attacking the Bihar chief minister for dumping the mahagathbandhan in the state, Sharad Pawar said, “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…”

The Opposition stalwart told news agency ANI 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,” ANI quoted Pawar as saying.

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 is seen as a big setback to the INDIA bloc, just months ahead of the general elections.

Nitish Kumar, after breaking away from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 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 elections.

But on Sunday, Nitish Kumar took the oath as chief minister of Bihar for the ninth time in Raj Bhawan, switching sides again, this time with the BJP – the second time in two years that he had jumped the ship.

Overall, it was his fifth crossover in a little over a decade, preceding his ninth time as chief minister.

Opposition leaders slam Nitish Kumar

Other leaders from the Congress, RJD, DMK, JMM, TMC, CPI(ML)-L and AAP also attacked Nitish Kumar after the INDIA bloc received the setback.

Lashing out at Nitish Kumar, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said it is clear that a “political drama” is being created to divert attention from his party's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

Ramesh added that it was clear that the prime minister (Narendra Modi) and the BJP were “scared” of the yatra being undertaken by Rahul Gandhi, which is set to enter Bihar.

The people of Bihar will not forgive this "expert of betrayal" and those who are making him dance to their tunes, the Congress MP said.

Ramesh, however, said the INDIA bloc is strong, and "we will unitedly fight against the BJP and all parties like DMK, NCP, TMC and SP will fight it together".

The Trinamool Congress said Nitish Kumar is "known for his political somersaults at regular intervals" and asserted that people will respond to such "opportunism".

Many opposition leaders such as Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, however, said they knew that Nitish Kumar could defect.

"There are many people like ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ in the country," Kharge said referring to the expression used for political turncoats.

Kharge said if Nitish Kumar wanted to stay, he would have stayed.

Nitish Kumar's ex-deputy in the previous government and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said the JD(U) chief was a "respectable" but "tired" leader and warned the BJP that the septuagenarian did not like to share "credit" with allies.

"Whatever may be the excuses Nitish ji makes for switching sides, his JD(U) is all set to be finished (khatam hone wala hai) in Lok Sabha polls," he added.

The CPI(ML) Liberation, which supported the mahagathbandhan government from the outside, said Nitish Kumar, “who has had the longest stint as CM”, will be used by the RSS-BJP combine “as its pawn”.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in a post on 'X' in Hindi said, "The BJP has never been so weak as it has become today. Today, a new record of betrayal has been made."

"The public will give a befitting reply to this. There can be no greater defeat than someone not believing in you as a person...The public will respond to this insult by defeating the BJP alliance in the Lok Sabha election," Yadav said in another post.

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said, "The three parties (JD(U), RJD and BJP) together have betrayed the people of Bihar on the issues they spoke about, the promises they made... their political ideology."

(With inputs from agencies)

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