In the past 20 years, the relationship between Nitish And Modi From love to hate to love and then to hate. Modi has been the most important factor behind most of the major political decisions taken by Nitish since 2010.
Nitish has resigned thrice in the last eight years in the middle of his tenure. And Modi has been the most important factor behind them.
Earlier, he had broken ties with the Janata Dal in 1994 and formed the Samata Party along with George Fernandes. He became close to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was made Railway Minister in the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Center in 1998.
In 2000, Nitish took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the first time with the support of the BJP. But he was forced to step down in seven days as he could not secure a majority. In 2003, he split the Samata Party, merged it with the Janata Dal and formed the JD(U).
Unlike other socialist leaders, Nitish praised Modi despite the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Inaugurating a railway project at Adipur in Kutch in December 2003, as the then Union Railway Minister in the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Nitish sang Modi’s songs.
He called Modi a “potential national leader” and a “development-oriented politician”. He also called upon the people to forget the 2002 riots and move forward.
Nitish said, “I hope Narendra Modi will not be confined to Gujarat for long and the country will get his services. I want to congratulate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. A lot of work has been done in Gujarat, but a different image.” About the state and Narendra bhai is made outside the state. The work in the state should not be promoted the way it should be.”
He further added, “What happened (in 2002) was a blot. But it is not good if we remember it and forget whatever is happening. I congratulate Narendra Bhai. Gujarat’s development for India It is helpful and if Gujarat develops, the nation will also develop.”
Nitish was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the second time in 2005. This was the first NDA government in Bihar in which JD(U) and BJP were alliance partners.
Nitish’s JD(U) has won four assembly elections so far – in 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2020. Barring 2015, the JD(U) contested all the other three assembly elections as a pre-poll alliance partner with the BJP.
Nitish’s tenure as the Chief Minister of Bihar only between 2005 and 2010 was interrupted and without any major interruption. Otherwise, all three of his subsequent terms have been turbulent and he has resigned as Chief Minister in all these terms in the middle of his tenure – between 2010 and 2015, between 2015 and 2020 and now on 9 August at the latest occasion . The major reason behind all his resignations and turbulent phases.
Till 2009, there was friendship between Nitish and Modi.
Nitish’s relations with both Modi and the BJP soured for the first time in 2010. Nitish’s dislike for Modi came to the fore this year for the first time. It was only when the Chief Minister of Bihar, who had nurtured the ambition of becoming prime minister himself, realized that Modi, his then Gujarat counterpart, was moving on the national political canvas and was his potential rival.
He refrained from associating with Modi. His political stance was to uphold his secular vote – who held Modi responsible for the killings of Muslims in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The BJP’s national executive meeting was being held in Patna in June 2010. Nitish had invited senior BJP leaders including LK Advani, Pramod Mahajan, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj for dinner. On the same day, full-page advertisements appeared in local newspapers, in which Nitish thanked Modi for Rs 5 crore as flood relief assistance.
The advertisement also had a picture of Modi and Nitish holding their hands up. This picture was of the BJP-led NDA’s rally in Ludhiana in May 2009. This same iconic picture of the two looking affable became an eyesore for Nitish.
Nitish strongly opposed the picture and the advertisement. He suddenly canceled the dinner and also returned Rs 5 crore to the Gujarat government.
Nitish’s next round with the BJP happened in June 2013 and it was again up to Modi. At its national executive meeting in Goa, the BJP on 9 June appointed Modi as the chairman of the party’s election campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Nitish left the BJP on a clear indication that Modi had grown in stature within the BJP and would soon be projected as the party’s face for the next general election. Calling Modi a “communal” leader, he removed all BJP ministers in June 2013. He ran a minority government with the support of Left parties, independents and others.
Modi was actually promoted as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate at the party’s parliamentary board meeting held in Delhi on September 13, 2013.
Nitish’s first resignation as Chief Minister of Bihar in the middle of his term came after the BJP-led NDA won the Lok Sabha elections and Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister on 26 May 2014. Nitish tendered his resignation, taking moral responsibility for the defeat. Number of JD(U) candidates in Bihar. The JD(U) won only two of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats, while the BJP won 22 seats. NDA got a total of 31 seats.
He installed his one-time loyalist Jitan Ram Manjhi as chief minister. However, he removed Manjhi and returned to the CM’s chair in February 2015.
For the 2015 Bihar assembly election, Nitish formed a pre-poll alliance with Lalu Prasad called the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress. It registered a landslide victory defeating the BJP by a huge margin.
Even though the RJD emerged as the single largest party, it respected the pre-poll understanding and accepted Nitish as the chief minister.
However, the RJD soon started harassing Nitish for claiming the CM post. His leaders inspired him to move to national politics as he was a PM material and to leave the post of CM for RJD.
This was also the time when the central investigative agencies were tightening their grip on several alleged irregularities when Lalu Prasad was Railway Minister. His son and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav IRCTC was in the eye of federal agencies in the scam.
Trying to find an excuse to get rid of the RJD, Nitish asked Tejashwi to come clean on the CBI’s allegations. With no explanation coming in, Nitish pulled out of the alliance with the RJD in July 2017 on the issue of corruption and returned to his association with the BJP.
The performance of the JD(U) fell dramatically in the 2020 Bihar assembly election. It had won 43 seats as against 71 in 2015. BJP’s tally went up to 74, while in 2015 it had won 53. The NDA formed the government even though RJD emerged as the single largest party with 75 seats.
Nitish again became the chief minister as promised by the BJP in the pre-poll agreement. Luck favored him twice. He became the chief minister even as the JD(U) won fewer seats in 2015 than the RJD under the pre-poll arrangement.
As in 2015, when the RJD started claiming the CM’s post, the BJP started doing so soon after Nitish was sworn in for the seventh time.
As is being speculated and alleged by many BJP leaders, Nitish has once again started fulfilling his prime ministerial ambitions. The JD(U) alleged that the BJP was trying to divide the party and grab its MLAs. On 9 August he broke his alliance with the BJP.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh, who is BJP’s Lok Sabha MP from Bihar, said, “Nitish’s over-ambition has resurfaced. But he will never be able to become PM.
According to BJP leaders, an agreement has been reached between Nitish and RJD. Nitish will project himself as the opposition’s joint PM candidate against NDA’s Modi for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. While he will shift to Delhi, Tejashwi will take his place in Bihar.
The bitterness has once again come in the relationship between Nitish and Modi.