- Nitish Kumar will accept 5 crores from Gujarat for flood relief
- Mr Kumar had refused aid when Narendra Modi was its Chief Minister
- This time, PM Modi has pledged Rs 500 crore as relief for Bihar
The Chief Minister's acquiescence comes days his party, the Janata Dal United, got left out of the mega-reshuffle at the Centre. All nine new ministers inducted by PM Modi were from the BJP.
The move was seen as a massive snub -- given the fresh alliance between Mr Kumar's party and the BJP last month and speculation that the JD(U) would rewarded with cabinet berths. The perception was enhanced by Mr Kumar's acknowledgement that he had learnt of the reshuffle "through the media".
Although the JD(U) chief had tempered his comment, saying there was "no talk of joining the BJP," former ally Lalu Yadav had jeered, saying some leaders of the party had got "new kurta-pyjama stitched" for the oath ceremony, but never got an invitation.
Mr Yadav also said PM Modi had returned a "favour" from Mr Kumar by refusing a lunch invitation when he visited Bihar recently to survey flood-affected areas. The reference was to the same issue in June 2010, when Mr Kumar had withdrawn a dinner invitation to BJP leaders, including Mr Modi.
The trouble had started after a non-profit had taken out full-page advertisements in Patna dailies, lauding the Gujarat Chief Minister's contribution for flood relief. A furious Mr Kumar not only rescinded the dinner invite, but also returned the Rs 5 crore -- sent two years before by Mr Modi after the devastating floods in Kosi river - with interest.
Three years later, Mr Kumar broke the 17-year-old alliance with the BJP after it named Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
That alliance was renewed last month. Within 14 hectic hours, Nitish Kumar broke with allies Lalu Yadav and the Congress, stepped down and formed a new government with the BJP.