Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar's politics doesn't take time to change its course. The chief minister of Bihar recently thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his government's quick response to the effects of the April 25 earthquake that killed over 50 people in the state.
Nitish praised PM Modi over Centre's quick response
Nitish Kumar praised the prime minister in front of the Centre's ministerial team and even had lunch with the members of the team. Quite unbelievable, given the man's track record against Modi over the last five years.
In 2010, CM Nitish Kumar had returned a Rs 5-crore cheque sent by Modi govt in Gujarat
In mid-2010, it was the same Nitish Kumar who had returned a Rs 5-crore cheque which was sent by Modi's government in Gujarat after the devastating floods caused by the Kosi River in Bihar in 2008.
It was just a few months ahead of the assembly election in Bihar and Nitish Kumar had a huge stake in not to alienate the Muslim voters by making the Modi factor a part of the state's politics.
Ego clashes shadowed welfare then
Apart from the cheque-returning episode, Nitish Kumar was left very upset when an advertisement showing him and Modi holding hands together during a BJP meet in Patna did the rounds and the former even cancelled dinner with the BJP leaders. Nitish Kumar's JD(U) was part of the BJP-led NDA alliance then.
Nitish Kumar's party did very well in the elections that followed and suddenly he started feeling himself to be a close competitor of Narendra Modi as the best chief minister in the country.
The egos went on growing and three years later, when Nitish Kumar understood that it was becoming impossible for him to overtake Modi to emerge as the main face of the NDA in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he decided to pull out from the NDA.
There was not much problem with the reasoning for it is very easy to get away from Modi: Just brush him as a 'communal' leader.
Nitish Kumar's hurt ego
Nitish Kumar's ego was hurt so badly once the results of the Lok Sabha elections were out that he decided to quit as the Bihar chief minister and picked up a little-known man to succeed him.
The purposes were: To pull the strings of governance from the back so that he won't have to face Modi and also at the same time, play the caste cards so that his grip on the extremely backward communities get stronger.
This plan, however, didn't pay off as the power-monger in Nitish Kumar ended up fighting his own successor and had to return to power to remain relevant before yet another state election.
Nitish Kumar, whose vote-banks have taken a toll after his break-up with the NDA and the clash with Jitan Ram Manjhi, his successor, decided to do just the opposite of what he had done in 2010.
When a earthquake rocks Bihar, Nitish Kumar changes his politics
Yet another natural disaster hit Bihar in an election year, this time in the form of an earthquake, and Nitish Kumar welcomed the fast response from the government of the same Narendra Modi, this time not a chief minister but the prime minister.
Co-operation is the best form of competition now
Nitish Kumar, just like a seasoned politician, could sense that co-operation can be the best form of competition at times and praising Modi for the relief will also do his image some good for both the JD(U) and BJP are set to lock horns over a prestigious battle in another few months.
In fact, when the Modi government responded fast to a potential Kosi flood threat last year, the state government led by Manjhi did not opt for a collision course. Neither did Nitish Kumar raised a noise as he had done four years ago.
No more secular-communal debate; now all on the same boat called development
For Bihar's politicians, the secular versus communal debate is a thing of the past. It's the plank of development which is getting over-crowded now, thanks to the change in Indian politics that was witnessed in the last Lok Sabha election.