Almost eight years ago, Nitish Kumar dumped BJP in 2013 to oppose the projection of Modi as Prime Ministerial candidate in the 2014 general election. Kumar, who has unfulfilled Prime Ministerial ambitions like other regional satraps, still harbours hope to get the chair one day, despite the fact that his party is weakening even in Bihar.
Therefore, he brought people like Upendra Kushwaha to the party who can vouch for his ability to become Prime Minister. “In today’s date, apart from PM Modi, many people are PM material and Nitish Kumar is one of them,” Upendra Kushwaha, who is the Parliamentary Board chairman of JDU – an NDA ally – said.
Upendra Kushwaha also supported Nitish Kumar’s demand for a caste Census. He said, “There is a need to create an atmosphere in the country on the issue of caste Census and Nitish Kumar can play a big role in it.”
“We can never compromise when it comes to secularism and social justice. We discuss these things, if someone feels otherwise, then he/she should not feel that way,” he added.
In 2013, Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) broke away with BJP when the saffron party declared Modi as Prime Ministerial candidate to distance himself from the so-called “communal” leader, with whose support he became CM for the fourth time.
The idea of prime ministership must have gotten into Nitish’s head after he was re-elected as the chief minister of Bihar in 2010. His resounding victory was analyzed across the spectrum as a consequence of successful policies and effective administration. The mainstream, which loathed the Gujarat model of development, now began propping up the Bihar model as a counter. The mainstream, which loathed Narendra Modi, began propping up Nitish Kumar as a counter. Despite being a junior ally, some believed Nitish was the best prime ministerial candidate for the NDA. It is probably then that his ambitions swelled, and his careful calculations were set in motion.
However, neither the NDA nor the Congress or third-front announced Nitish Kumar as a Prime Ministerial candidate. With the humongous victory of Modi-led BJP in 2014, the dream to become PM took a back seat and he instead started focusing on saving the CM chair. He allied with arch-rival Lalu Yadav in 2015 and won the assembly election but found it difficult to run the government because unlike Sushil Modi of BJP, RJD’s leaders were not ready to accept a secondary role in the government given the fact they were the largest party.
Therefore, he came with BJP once again and fought the 2020 assembly election as part of NDA, although reduced to third place, thanks to Chirag Paswan. Now as the seventy-year-old leader is at the ending phase of his political career, he wants to make the last attempt to become PM in the 2024 general election.
Nitish wishes to make Kejriwal, Mulayam, Mamata, Lalu, and many other junior partners in an association that he will lead. It is nearly impossible that his dream would come true but in the process, he can soon lose the CM chair if RCP Singh, the Union Minister of Steel, breaks the party and goes with BJP.