According to a report by NDTV, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar is expected to swear in as the chief minister of Bihar with the backing of the BJP.

The report could not be independently verified by Mint.

As his conflicts with the members of the Indian bloc grow, there are rumors that Kumar is planning to join forces with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Modi.

As rumors circulated that they are amenable to having Kumar return to their fold, Union Home Minister Amit Shah met on Thursday in Delhi with Bihar BJP president Samrat Choudhary and other prominent state officials, including Sushil Modi and Vijay Kumar Sinha.

The longest-serving chief minister of Bihar, who also supports an early assembly vote to coincide with the Lok Sabha polls, has come under fire from the INDIA bloc for not receiving a place in the alliance worthy of someone of his caliber.

The chief ministers of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, and Punjab, Bhagwant Singh Mann, delivered double blows on Wednesday by announcing that their respective parties, the TMC and AAP, will stand alone in the Lok Sabha elections that are anticipated to take place in April and May. In fact, the INDIA bloc has been tarnished by incoherence and mistrust.

Bihar’s INDIA parties appear to be drifting apart, which will work to the BJP’s advantage in the run-up to the elections. In the 2015 assembly polls, the same coalition severely defeated the party, but Kumar later teamed up with the BJP-led NDA, which went on to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In 2022, Kumar soared to prominence in the opposition coalition as the BJP became more aggressive after his party’s poor showing in the 2020 state polls.

In the meantime, the INDIA bloc has erupted and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has returned to the nation’s capital amid tension with Kumar.

Gandhi has put the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra on hold for the time being, but it will continue from Cooch Behar, West Bengal, on January 28.