On Nitish Kumar, a word of caution to BJP from a former ally: Brace for ‘Dhokha No 2’

Rashtriya Lok Samta Party President Upendra Kushwaha on Monday warned its former ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, that it should be ready for deception from its alliance partner Nitish Kumar. He said Kumar is known for disrespecting publics mandate and deceiving public and alliance partners is his old habit. His statement comes just a day after Nitish Kumar effected a Cabinet expansion but did not give a single berth to the BJP or the LJP, both constituents of the NDA. His move was seen as tit-for-tat as the saffron party had offered only one cabinet berth in the central government. Ahead of the government formation in the Centre, Nitish Kumar met BJP president Amit Shah over the portfolio allocations. The BJP offered JD(U) one cabinet berth which Nitish turned down saying it would be just a symbolic representation of his party in the government, not a proportional one. He refused to be a part of the government. There was a buzz that Nitish was upset with the BJP. However, JD(U) chief maintained that there was no problem in the alliance with the BJP. The BJP and JD(U) contested the recent Lok Sabha polls together and won 39 of 40 seats. Nitish Kumar had been part of the BJP-led NDA for close to two decades. But in 2014, Nitish Kumar left the NDA after the BJP announced Narendra Modi its Prime Ministerial face for 2014 general elections. In 2015, Nitish allied with Lalu Prasad Yadav for the assembly elections and together won 151 of 243 seats. However, this alliance did not go well and Nitish re-joined NDA in 2017. Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD accused Nitish of not respecting the mandate given to the alliance of both the parties. It is in this backdrop Kushwaha has warned the saffron party that it should be careful with Nitishs next move.