After Nitish Kumar's latest breakup with the BJP today, former chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's daughters put out celebratory tweets saying he's back in the game in Bihar. Mr Yadav's daughter Rohini Acharya called her father the "kingmaker" and tweeted a Bhojpuri song, "Lalu Bin Chalu Ee Bihar Na Hoyi (Bihar can't be run without Lalu)."
Numbers says the JDU and RJD have the strength to form a government together.
"Prepare for the coronation, the lantern carriers are coming," Ms Acharya wrote in Hindi, referring to the election symbol (lantern) of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which is led by Lalu Yadav's son and political heir Tejashwi Yadav. Lalu Yadav, on bail in cases linked to the fodder scam, is recovering from a shoulder fracture in Delhi.
"राजतिलक की करो तैयारी आ रहे हैं , लालटेन धारी "✌️ pic.twitter.com/R0pYeaU2mN— Rohini Acharya (@RohiniAcharya2) August 9, 2022
The song by Bhojpuri singer-actor Khesari Lal Yadav — released before the Bihar Legislative Council elections earlier this year — has lines calling for Tejashwi Yadav to become Bihar's leader. "Tejashwi ke bina sudhaar na hoyi (There can be no progress without Tejashwi)," it says. There are also some lines criticising Nitish Kumar, though not in the clip that Ms Acharya shared.
Before the song, Ms Acharya tweeted that there would be "a miracle" soon, "with blessings of Bhole Baba", and later shared a photo of her father with the words "kingmaker" written in Devanagari script, saying, "His integrity is higher than skies; he is the people's pride."
आसमान की बुलंदी से भी ऊंचा उनका ईमान है— Rohini Acharya (@RohiniAcharya2) August 9, 2022
जनता-जनार्दन का जो अभिमान हैं???? pic.twitter.com/STxIHZ2GWI
Another of Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi's daughters, Raj Lakshmi Yadav, shared some photos of her father and wrote that "Bihar wants Tejashwi's government".
Tejashwi Yadav was deputy chief minister to Nitish Kumar after the 2015 elections, when the JDU, RJD and Congress won together. His brother Tej Pratap Yadav was a minister too. But that government fell as Nitish Kumar walked out of the "Grand Alliance" to get back with the BJP in 2017. The JDU and BJP together won the 2020 elections. Tejashwi remained Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.
The realignment today comes on the back of Nitish Kumar's understanding with Tejashwi Yadav, developed over the last few months, signs of which were visible mostly in gestures and silences. Tejashwi Yadav will again be deputy chief minister, sources told NDTV.
This morning, Nitish Kumar told his legislators of the decision to break up with the BJP, after accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party of trying to split the JDU. Around the same time, Tejashwi Yadav met with his MLAs to formally agree to a tie-up with Nitish Kumar for a return to power.
Nitish Kumar submitted his resignation to the Governor by 4 pm.
The JDU has 45 legislators in the 243-member assembly, while the BJP has 77, just enough for the majority mark of 122. But the RJD is the single largest party with 79 MLAs, so its support to JDU can keep Nitish Kumar in the chair. According to a report by news agency ANI, quoting sources, Tejashwi Yadav has claimed support of 160 MLAs. This would include the Congress's 19, besides those from smaller parties.
For Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav, this is only the latest turn in their decades-long association that's seen them fight and make up several times. Both emerged as young leaders in the 1970s from Jayaprakash Narayan's movement. They first split up in the 1990s as Nitish Kumar chose to partner with the BJP.