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Once Bitten, Twice Smitten

An overbearing ally, public image and prospects for 2019: the factors that prompted Nitish to swing saffron this time

Once Bitten, Twice Smitten
Old Love | Photograph by PTI
Once Bitten, Twice Smitten
outlookindia.com
2017-07-29T11:04:40+05:30

Riding a high horse over probity and morality in public life, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has galloped back into the NDA camp, in a sudden but not-so-unexp­e­c­ted move that has left the anti-Narendra Modi alliance floundering within and outside the state.

The Janata Dal (United) stalwart res­igned in a huff on July 26 after being snubbed by his alliance partner, Ras­htriya Janata Dal president Laloo Pra­sad Yadav, over his demand that ‘tainted’ deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav come clean, only to find his erstwhile ally BJP waiting for him with open arms—and a letter of unconditional support—within hours.

The 66-year-old leader was promptly sworn in as the chief minister for the sixth time (fourth term as an NDA lea­der) the very next day by acting Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, barely 15 hours after he bid goodbye to the three-party Grand Alliance. This has brought the curtains down on the 20-month-old government that had come into power with a brute majority in the 2015 state assembly...

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