An invite, and a non-invite: Nitish makes the most of it, stirs up food for thought

Even as political buzz over his presence at the RJD’s iftar party at Rabri Devi’s house continued, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar went to Patna airport to greet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday – sending out mixed signals to both the RJD and BJP.

While he dismissed any hidden agenda behind the iftar visit, keeping his allies and opponents guessing has been part of Nitish Kumar’s political arsenal for decades. The 71-year-old JD(U) leader last attended RJD’s iftar party in 2017, a few months before parting ways with the RJD-led Grand Alliance.

On Friday, he walked down to former CM Rabri Devi’s 10, Circular Road, residence for the iftar and was photographed in conversation with Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, among other VIPs. Also present was LJP (Ramvilas) leader Chirag Paswan.

Later, Tej Pratap Yadav’s comments added more fuel to political rumours.

“Earlier, I had put a ‘no entry’ board. But now it has been replaced with ‘Entry — Nitish Chacha ji.’… There are ups and downs in politics. Sometimes, Nitish Kumar would be up and we would be down, and vice-versa. Now that Nitishji is warming up to us, we can think of forming government,” said the former health minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s elder son.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Tejashwi Yadav at RJD’s iftar party. (Photo: Twitter/@yadavtejashwi)

While Tejashwi played down Nitish’s iftar visit and remained silent on his brother’s comments, RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari said: “Uncle Nitish should bless nephew Tejashwi. Politics is a game of possibilities.”

If the said and the unsaid had Bihar guessing, Nitish sent another signal with his decision to go to the airport to receive Amit Shah on Saturday. It is not very often that the Bihar CM welcomes a Union minister at the airport. Nitish chose to go despite the fact that he was not invited for the Central government’s Veer Kunwar Singh function at Ara for which Shah was in Bihar.

His options may be limited, but over the past two days, Nitish clearly showed why he remains past master at the game.

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