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Nitish Kumar becomes CM with NDA's support – the most short-lived democratic experience in Indian political history comes to an end
A new chapter of history in Bihar and national politics was opened when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) and RJD's Lalu Prasad Yadav had forged a formidable mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) to neutralise Narendra Modi's magic ahead of Bihar's Assembly polls held in late 2015.

As an ordinary student of political science and close observer of Nitish Kumar's style of politics, his trajectory and character, I knew that it would be a marriage of political expediency. Nitish Kumar had snapped ties with the BJP ahead of the 2014 general election and badly suffered. The shrewd politician that Nitish is saw an alignment with Lalu ji as his last resort and only hope for survival.

It could not be easy even for a chameleon to change its colors so dexterously after 17-year alliance with the BJP, and joining hands with his sworn enemy Lalu Prasad. Till recently he was garnering accolades for fighting tooth and nail against Lalu's 'jungle raj.' In 2015, they both were strange bedfellows and Nitish Kumar was called an opportunist for allying himself with a leader he had relentlessly fought for more than 20 years.

In 2014, the BJP had accused Nitish Kumar of being an opportunist par excellence when he left NDA over Modi's elevation as the prime ministerial candidate. In 2009, Shri Nitish Kumar, as Chief Minister of Bihar, had refused to invite Shri Modi to campaign in Bihar. In 2012, Nitish Kumar had said that the coalition should have a 'secular' leader.

In an interview to The Economic Times, he had dropped hints that he wouldn't back Modi as Prime Minister. "In a multi-religious and multi-lingual country like ours, the leader should not have rough edges in his personality," he had said. On 25th July at Muzaffarpur rally during the campaign, Narendra Modi had said that there was "some problem with Nitish Kumar's DNA." And Nitish Kumar did hit back saying the remark was an insult to the people of Bihar.

Wary of a Muslim backlash, he also didn't allow photos of LK Advani on party posters.

And there was there MUCH in the past to bury. Today, Nitish Kumar is again sailing in BJP's boat. One Modi at the top of pyramid and another Modi in his flank as Deputy CM of Bihar, the dreams of Deputy Prime Ministership in 2019 in his head, he had been smoothly softening the rough contours of relationship with BJP and Narendra Modi – the simple story of toady convergence on various issues in recent months.

Unlike the rest of the opposition and a section within the NDA that opposed the move, Nitish Kumar had praised Modi's demonetisation plan. Again, he recently backed the NDA's Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who was the Governor of Bihar, and also congratulated the NDA on the Centre's shift to the Goods and Services Tax regime.

True, there are no friends and permanent foes in politics. But friendship of likes of Nitish Kumar, Bahugunas and Paswans reflect the level of morality in politics in India. Nitish Kumar's is a tale of a survivor in the shifting sands.

Nitish Kumar was a ray of HOPE for opposition and secular politics against the religious fanaticism. Indubitably, RSS has brought to its knees the last bastion of sanity. With the elevation of Nitish Kumar as NDA supported CM of Bihar, the most short-lived democratic experience in Indian political history comes to an end.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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