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March 1, 2024

BJP-RJD Tussle Intensifies in Bihar: Rabri Devi Warns Nitish Kumar of Defection Threat

Former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, a prominent figure in the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the wife of party founder Lalu Prasad, has sounded a warning bell for current Chief Minister Nitish Kumar amid escalating tensions between the RJD and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar.

Rabri Devi’s assertion comes in the wake of alleged poaching attempts by the BJP on RJD and Congress MLAs, raising concerns for Nitish Kumar, who recently forged an alliance with the BJP. She stressed that the defections from her party and its ally should serve as a wake-up call for Kumar.

Emphasizing the shifting political landscape, Rabri Devi remarked, “It is now RJD versus BJP in Bihar. There is no third force of consequence. This is something the BJP knows, a reason why it is trying to wean away our people.” Her comments underscore the perceived polarization of Bihar’s political arena.

The assertion follows recent claims by RJD MLA Mukesh Raushan, suggesting that the BJP aims to engineer a split within the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)), thereby targeting Nitish Kumar’s tenure as the state’s longest-serving chief minister. Rabri Devi echoed these sentiments, citing the BJP’s actions in other states as evidence of its tactics.

Amidst the defections, the Congress has moved to seek the disqualification of its MLAs, Murari Gautam and Siddharth Saurav. Similarly, RJD intends to pursue disqualification for its defected members, including Chetan Anand, Neelam Devi, Prahlad Yadav, and Sangita Kumari. Rabri Devi expressed dismay at the turn of events, urging defectors to resign from their assembly memberships and questioning the Speaker’s allowance of such actions.

Responding to allegations of caste-based discrimination within the RJD, Rabri Devi vehemently denied such claims, asserting the party’s inclusive ethos and track record of empowering marginalized communities.

Currently, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) commands a majority in the 243-member Bihar assembly, with the support of 134 MLAs, including six defectors. The coalition comprises BJP, JD(U), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), and an Independent MLA.

Nitish Kumar’s recent alliance shift from the Mahagathbandhan to NDA has significantly altered Bihar’s political dynamics, leaving the RJD to grapple with challenges stemming from defections and opposition consolidation.

Amidst rumors of Nitish Kumar’s potential overseas trip, Rabri Devi offered a tongue-in-cheek response, suggesting that the chief minister might find better prospects abroad, insinuating the challenges he faces within the state.

As Bihar braces for heightened political maneuvering, Rabri Devi’s warnings underscore the volatile nature of the political landscape, with implications for the state’s governance and party alignments.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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