The Janata Dal (United)-Bhartiya Janata Party alliance appears to be almost done, with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar not averse to repeating a political somersault again, sacrificing his party’s tie-up with the ruling grand coalition in BIhar in less than a year-and-half ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

JDU sources said Kumar is likely to hand over his resignation letter to Bihar Governor Rajendra Arlekar, who was an RJD MLA, on Sunday to form the government with the help of the BJP and its NDA allies like Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM).

JDU’s veteran spokesperson K C Tyagi told reporters here that the grand alliance government in Bihar is on the verge of collapse, and held a section of the Congress leadership accountable for “insulting”  Kumar repeatedly. What Tyagi was, perhaps, hinting at was Kumar was not made convenor of the INDIA bloc even though the Bihar CM was instrumental in putting up an opposition alliance of 18 parties to take on BJP’s attempt to regain power for the third in a row.

“The INDIA bloc is on the verge of collapse. The alliance of INDIA bloc parties is almost over in Punjab, West Bengal and Bihar,” he remarked.

If the JDU walks over again to the BJP fold, which if happens would be the fourth time after June 2013 when Nitish Kumar called off ties over Narendra Modi’s appointment as the PM face for the next general elections. It will also mark a big jolt to the opposition INDIA bloc, given that it was relying on Bihar to put up a good show in Bihar since the grand alliance of Congress, RJD, and Left already existed in the state. The BJP has taken the calculated risk and swallowed previous humiliation since it knows that without JDU’s Kurmi-Koiri vote bank of about 5 % and support in most backward castes, it will find it difficult to come anywhere close to the 2019 Lok Sabha election performance. The BJP had won 39 out of 40 seats in BIhar.

 Kumar, who as per the buzz is expected to resign Saturday night itself, was huddled into a meeting with some of his party leaders in Patna on Saturday, and has called all MLAs at his residence the following morning where the formation of the government will be officially communicated to them.

With the JDU coming on board, which has 45 legislators, and 78 MLAs of the BJP and 4 of HAM, the NDA’s tally comes to 128 which is well past the half-way assembly mark of 122 needed in the House of 243 members.

On a day that was marked with several meetings across political spectrum, RJD president Lalu Prasad also called a meeting of its 79 MLAs and other leaders to assess sudden political instability and its national fallout. After the meeting, RJD MP Manoj Jha said that the party has left it to president Lalu Prasad to decide next course of action.

 The BJP state party leaders, who were not keen on an alliance with the JDU again but had to abide by the national leadership decision, also met in Patna early on Saturday. However, the party leaders refused to comment on record as they have been advised to let the JDU do the talking before the formal announcement.

Meanwhile, Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan met Union Home Minister Amit Shah to “express his concern” over Nitish Kumar returning to the BJP since both are political rivals. The BJP in the last 2020 assembly elections had used LJP (Ram Vilas) to cut into Kurmi-Koiri OBC vote base of the JDU.  

“It was important to know what is happening in Bihar today. On this issue, I held a meeting with Amit Shah and JP Nadda ji today. I have kept my concerns before them over Bihar. They have given assurance on various issues. The situation is very positive regarding the alliance. In the coming days, the situation will become more clear, and after that, our party will take a stand. We are a part of NDA today,” he told reporters.