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Thu. Sep 29th, 2022
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PATNA: The script for Nitish Kumar’s exit from NDA may have been a familiar one but there were surprises in the plot that his band of BJP ministers didn’t see coming.
As Nitish stepped down from the CM’s post to pave the way for a possible new government with foe-turned-old friend RJD, BJP ministers waiting to be dropped from the cabinet were left more than just flabbergasted. Some of them had been closeted with deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad at his Patna residence, contemplating if they should quit to deny Nitish the pleasure of sacking them.
A BJP insider said the party’s central leadership advised the ministers to hold their horses. “The strategy was to get the CM to oust them. The long-term impact would then be to BJP’s advantage, making the dismissed ministers from the party victims in the eyes of the people.”
Nitish, as it turned out, had a plan different from the one he had executed nine years ago, when he sacked the BJP ministers in his then NDA government and remained in office with the support of RJD and other parties outside the saffron fold.
The June 2013 exit from NDA was a fallout of the saffron camp picking Narendra Modi as the alliance’s PM candidate. Nitish chose to sever a 17-year-old alliance and go it alone in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, little knowing that it was BJP that would come out of the snafu smiling. JD(U) won only two of the 40 parliamentary seats it contested.
This time around, Nitish seems convinced it will be different. “Nitish’s resignation has deprived BJP of an opportunity to project itself as a victim and aim to turn the situation on its head,” said a party functionary.

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