Nitish Kumar, who sources say is on his way out of the Opposition and about to partner the BJP — may join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his rally in Bihar next month.
PM Modi will be kicking off the BJP campaign in Bihar with a mega rally in Bettiah on January 13. Sources said Nitish Kumar may share stage with him.
During this visit, PM Modi is also expected to inaugurate and lay foundation stones for various projects, including roads and bridges, across Bihar, according to party sources.
Mr Kumar — upset with the INDIA bloc over its tardy poll preparations and overlooked for the post of the Prime Ministerial candidate — is all set to change camp again, sources said.
Hectic meetings are in progress among the Central and state leaders BJP in Delhi and the Grand Alliance allies in Patna, sources said.
Nitish Kumar, sources said, will resign and stake claim with the help of the BJP, Jitan Ram Manjhi and others – much like he did in 2017. After the new cabinet is formed, he would recommend dissolution of the present House and seek new mandate, which may coincide with the general elections.
The majority mark in the 243-member Bihar assembly is 122. The RJD has 79 seats. Mr Kumar can form government with 82 seats of the BJP and 45 of his Janata Dal United. Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal has 79 seats.
For Mr Kumar, 72, this would be the fifth change of camp. Since 2013, he has been swinging between the NDA and the Mahagathbandhan, all the while keeping his job in the state intact.
He switched sides last in 2022, just three years after he had walked out of the Grand Alliance and joined the NDA.