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Nitish Frowns Upon Use of Word Mahagathbandhan for Opposition Alliance in Bihar, Says He 'Coined' it

On being queried about Rahul Gandhi’s leadership in the context of the mahagathbandhan in Bihar, Kumar asked why this term was being used, 'It was I who had coined it. He himself kept saying only gathbandhan at yesterday’s rally.'

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Updated:February 4, 2019, 8:31 PM IST
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Nitish Frowns Upon Use of Word Mahagathbandhan for Opposition Alliance in Bihar, Says He 'Coined' it
File photo of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
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Patna: Taking exception to the use of word mahagathbandhan for the opposition allaince in the state of Bihar, chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he was the one who had coined and popularised the word after his party JD(U) and Lalu Prasad's RJD joined hands to form an allaince.

On being queried about Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s leadership in the context of the mahagathbandhan in Bihar, Kumar shot hit back asking why was this term being used, "It was I who had coined it. He (Gandhi) himself kept saying only gathbandhan at yesterday’s rally."

Having stepped down as Chief Minister, taking moral responsibility for the debacle of the JD(U), which won only two seats, Kumar had envisaged a broader Janata Parivar which could take shape with the merger of his party, RJD and the Samajwadi Party (SP), which then ruled the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

This did not materialise though the mahagathbandhan took shape and went on to trounce the NDA in the assembly polls of 2015, belying sceptics who had predicted that the alliance would be done in on account of absence of electoral chemistry between the arch rivals.

Ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, when the term was used to describe a hurriedly forged alliance between the SP riven by a bitter family feud and the Congress, Kumar had cautioned against loosely using the label and said the coalition could have been called a mahagathbandhan only if it had included the BSP one of the major anti-BJP parties in UP.

The SP and BSP have now forged an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, taking Ajit Singhs RLD along but keeping the Congress out of it. ​
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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