In a scathing attack on Nitish Kumar on Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said all doors to his joining the BJP-led NDA have been shut.

After a rally in West Champaran district, Shah addressed a conclave of farmers and labourers in Patna, saying the JD(U) leader had joined forces with former adversaries Congress and RJD and “betrayed” the BJP on account of his “Prime Ministerial ambitions”.

In 2013, Nitish Babu abandoned us, Shah said, but in 2017, he reconnected with us. Even though we won more seats than his JD(U) in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 and the assembly elections a year later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for his return as chief minister.

At present, Nitish babu is at the doorsteps (dagar par) of (RJD supremo) Lalu Prasad.

In his turn, he will suffer vishwasghaat (betrayal). Nitish babu, you will never be admitted into the NDA,” a senior BJP leader said. “I have never seen a man spew lies so blatantly (itna jhooth bolne wala) and so treacherous (itna vishwasghat karne wala),” said Shah.

After leaving the NDA in 2013, Nitish Kumar joined the Mahagathbandhan allies Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in 2015, and the alliance won the Bihar Assembly elections. Two years later, Kumar joined the BJP after breaking up with Mahagathbandhan in 2017. The JD(U) coalition fought the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2020 Bihar Assembly elections together. Kumar left the BJP in 2022 to join Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Congress.

Congress supporters from Noida arrived in Ghaziabad on Tuesday to join Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. Congress workers from Noida and other parts of Gautam Buddh Nagar district gathered at the Loni border in Ghaziabad to join the Yatra led by local leader Pankhuri Pathak.

During the Yatra rush, traffic diverted in the Loni area from 10 am to 6 pm.

According to traffic police, vehicles, including e-rickshaws and cars, are not permitted between the Loni Border (with Delhi) and the Mandola Border (with Baghpat) during this time.

The Rahul Gandhi-led Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra resumed today from Delhi after a nine-day winter break. So far, the Yatra has covered 3,000 km over 110 days, crossing southern states and then going through Rajasthan and Delhi.

As the BJP shifts focus to Bengal ahead of panchayat elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP chief JP Nadda will campaign there.

CNN-News18 reported that the party would hold 40 big rallies across Bengal. Nadda will launch the campaign in East Medinipur, the bastion of Suvendu Adhikari. Nandigram is also located in East Medinipur, and political experts say it is significant that the BJP president will meet here.

According to the sources, Shah and PM Modi will meet in Bengal after Nadda’s visit.

It is believed by party insiders that the BJP did well in the 2019 elections due to its aggressive campaign since the 2018 panchayat elections. Bengal BJP plans to bring high-profile campaigners from January onwards to not only help with the panchayat elections, but also lay the foundation for the Lok Sabha elections of 2024.