Nitish Kumar should quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and back Tejashwi Yadav as Chief Minister, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said on Wednesday, a day after the Chief Minister won a fourth term in Bihar but with greatly diminished numbers.
In a series of tweets, Digvijaya Singh said the BJP had reduced Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's stature with its "kootneeti" (strategy) in Bihar.
"BJP is like a vine, it takes the support of another tree and flourishes while the tree dries up. Nitish ji, Lalu Yadav and you fought together and he went to jail. Give up the BJP-RSS ideology and bless Tejashwi. Don't let this vine-like BJP grow in Bihar," the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister tweeted.
Digvijaya Singh lost a prestige battle in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, with ex-colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia delivering a chunk of seats won by the Congress in 2018 to the BJP in bypolls. Mr Scindia had blamed Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath when he exited the Congress in March with 22 MLAs, bringing down the party's government in Madhya Pradesh.
Digvjaya Singh also advised Nitish Kumar to leave Bihar and enter national politics. "Nitish ji, Bihar has become small for you. You should join national politics. Do not let the Union's policy of ''divide and rule''. Help all socialists believe in the secular ideology. Do consider," the Rajya Sabha member said.
He also said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was the "only leader in the country fighting a battle of ideology".
The NDA retained power in Bihar on Tuesday but Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United won only 43 seats compared to ally BJP's 74.
Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), which fielded 137 candidates, managed only one seat but is believed to have damaged the JDU and dragged its tally down, making it the junior partner in Bihar for the first time.
The opposition RJD of Tejashwi Yadav emerged the single-largest party with 75 seats but his alliance fell far short of the majority mark of 122 in the 243-member assembly. The Congress turned out to be the weakest link in the opposition, winning only 19 of the 70 seats it contested.