- Corruption scandals for Lalu Yadav and his sons, both ministers
- BJP in Bihar says it hasn't asked Nitish Kumar to renew their alliance
- If he dumps everything, not just Lalu, would consider reunion: BJP
Mr Kumar's coalition government in Bihar rests largely on Lalu Yadav, who has the most legislators in Bihar. But Lalu and his two sons, who are both in their 20s and ministers in Bihar, have of late exerted series scandals for the government. Today, the Supreme Court over-ruled Lalu' objections to decide that he will be tried for corruption in four different cases linked to his term as Chief Minister in the 1990s, when the state lost an alleged 1,000 crores because of a fodder scam executed by the Animal Husbandry Department.
The taint of that verdict led to reports that Mr Modi of the BJP had suggested the Chief Minister abandon Lalu and his party and re-commence an alliance with the BJP which was aborted in 2013.
Mr Modi said that what in fact he had proposed was, "If Nitish Kumar agrees to dump everything to align with the BJP, then only the party can think over it." That would, from the BJP's perspective, entail ending ties with the Congress as well, which is the third and junior-most member of Mr Kumar's government.
When Mr Kumar called time on his 18-year partnership with the BJP, it was in protest against the party's choosing then Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the presumptive Prime Minister. Before that, as well, Mr Kumar had refused to let Mr Modi campaign for their alliance in Bihar, holding that Muslim voters in Bihar would be alienated by Mr Modi, who was head of Gujarat when it was ravaged by communal riots in 2002.
Mr Modi went on to win the national election with record numbers. Mr Kumar's party was obliterated in the national election in Bihar.
Of late, the PM and the Bihar Chief Minister have evinced mutual admiration of each other's trademark policies - demonetisation in the case of Mr Modi and a ban on alcohol in Bihar enforced by Mr Kumar. The praise alarmed Mr Kumar's allies so much that he had to meet with them formally to make it clear that he is not aiming to reverse his separation from the BJP.
Over the weekend, an audio tape of Lalu conferring on the phone with a party leader who is in jail serving a life sentence turned into a political scandal with the BJP demanding that Mr Kumar act against him. NDTV cannot verify the authenticity of the tape; Lalu's party has not denied the conversation.
Before that, for weeks, Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP, who served as Mr Kumar's Deputy Chief Minister while their alliance existed, has released a cache of documents that he says establishes how Lalu used his earlier stints in power as Chief Minister and Union Railways Minister to covertly acquire real estate that is now owned by his minister-sons, Tejashwi and Tej Pratap.
The Yadavs have said that the land deals are pubic knowledge and have been declared in legal documents.