After TMC president Mamata Banerji and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) decided to go solo in West Bengal and Punjab respectively, the opposition INDIA alliance appears to be headed for another jolt as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was among the first to float the idea of a grant political unity to take on the NDA in the general elections, is once again hobnobbing with the BJP.

The buzz of the JDU rethinking its ruling alliance with the RJD has been going on for a long but it gained some currency after a meeting BJP leadership took with party leaders from Bihar last evening to discuss Nitish Kumar’s willingness to return to the NDA fold he had quit last year to form the State government to remain CM.

Though BJP leaders remained circumspect over Nitish Kumar’s credibility who has become a fairweather politician, it is believed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah held this meeting last evening to assess the ground reality and political capital the Kurmi OBC leader would bring in case both the parties agree for a tie-up again. The meeting was attended by BJP President JP Nadda and state leaders like Sushil Kumar Modi, state party Chief Smarat Chaudhary, pointsperson Vinod Tawde and former deputy CMs Renuka Devi and Tarkeshwar Prasad.

‘doors are shut’

Bihar BJP leaders, however, are divided over aligning with the JDU again, with Union Minister Giriraj Singh earlier stating that the doors are now shut for the JDU Chief Singh, however, appeared to have softened his stand towards the JDU and said on Friday “People come and go, will see what happens”. The party’s high command will take a decision that is in the interest of the BJP and the nation he added. BJP MP Sushil Modi who was present in the meeting at Shah’s residence landed in Patna on Friday and told reporters to wait for any political development in the state.

Interestingly, Kumar attended a high tea function at Bihar Raj Bhavan on the occasion of the Republic Day celebrations in Patna but his deputy Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD was absent, fuelling speculations on the widening rift between alliance partners.

The alliance government in Patna if it does not survive will be a big setback for the INDIA bloc which was counting on Bihar in the Hindi speaking belt for putting up a good show in the Lok Sabha polls.

The trouble in INDIA bloc is believed to have dragged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who left for Delhi on Thursday afternoon after his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ entered into West Bengal from Assam. The yatra is on a two-day break. The cracks are not just visible in West Bengal but Aam Admi Party too has ruled out any pact in Punjab for the polls, which is another opposition ruled state where INDIA is not able to firm up its seat sharing arrangements.