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Nitish Kumar made up his mind to quit NDA after call with Sonia Gandhi



Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar made up his mind to quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after he called Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to inquire about her health when she tested positive for Covid in the first week of June, a Janata Dal (United) or JD (U) leader said on Thursday.

Kumar used the opportunity to reach out to the…Congress chief and initiate the talks about his plans to walk out of the NDA. Kumar firmed up the exit plan after getting Gandhi’s nod for her support when he was under home isolation for the treatment of Covid during the last week of July and the first three days of August,” the JD (U) leader said, requesting anonymity.

Another JD (U) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary acknowledged Kumar was in touch with Gandhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav while formalising the plan of quitting the NDA and forming the government with the support of their parties. “Everything was planned perfectly before announcing the breakup,” said Chaudhary.

A third leader said Gandhi during their telephonic talks asked Kumar to be in touch with Rahul Gandhi to discuss the party’s role in the changed setup. “Though the RJD chief and Tejashwi Yadav were reluctant to include the Congress in the government, Kumar convinced both of them about the necessity of having it in the fold for their fight against Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre,” said a Congress leader.

Chaudhary said Kumar had a telephonic conversation with Sonia Gandhi after he decided to resign as the NDA chief minister on August 9. “Everything went as per the strategy and hence [Congress] in charge for Bihar Bhakta Charan Das on the instruction of Rahul Gandhi was in Patna a day ahead of the collapse of the NDA government,” said the Congress leader. He added that Congress got a letter of support from all its 19 lawmakers before Kumar resigned.

Kumar on Wednesday took oath as Bihar’s chief minister for the eighth time in 22 years. He has served as the chief minister in alliance with the BJP on five occasions, and with the RJD twice before. Kumar dumped the RJD-led Grand Alliance two years into his tenure in 2017 to partner with the BJP and complete the rest of his five-year term as part of the NDA.Nitish Kumar made up his mind to quit NDA after call with Sonia Gandhi



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