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Why Did BJP Take Back Nitish: Return Of Jungle Raj Under Tejashwi

It was the ninth time that Nitish Kumar was sworn in as Bihar CM on January 28 evening with the support of the BJP. He has been backed by the BJP six times as CM. It may be recalled that Nitish had walked out of the NDA Government in Bihar in August 2022 to form the Mahagatbandhan Government along with the RJD and the Congress. He had then charged the BJP of engineering a split in his party, Janata Dal (United). He had won the state assembly elections along with the BJP in 2020. Then what made the BJP accept him back? Why has the BJP with 79 MLAs acquiesced to backing Nitish on his terms? Only that he doesn’t get Sushil Modi as deputy CM. The BJP got two deputy CMs — an OBC and a forward caste leader. Before re-admitting Nitish, the BJP central leadership did hold wide consultations with its allies before taking a view on his return. BJP sources said it was the horror of the return of jungle raj with the elevation of Tejashwi Yadav as deputy CM. In fact Nitish himself was experiencing the rough side of the RJD; he was under pressure to hand over power to the RJD leader by Holi. “We did not want Bihar to slip into jungle raj like Bengal,” said a BJP leader. Nitish has seen what going alone in Lok Sabha elections had cost him. In 2014, Nitish got two seats and lost deposits in 36 seats. In 2019, when he fought along with the BJP, he got 16 seats. He used the opportunity of Bharat Ratna for his mentor Karpoori Thakur to get out of RJD stranglehold.