Nitish Kumar likely to have face-to-face greetings with PM Modi during G20 dinner

PATNA: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar who has been avoiding a meeting with the Prime Minister ever since he was preparing to dump the BJP in the state, may have a face-to-face exchange of greetings with Narendra Modi during the G20 special dinner being hosted by President Droupadi Murmu in Delhi on Saturday evening.
Sources said the chief minister’s office (CMO) has confirmed to the Rashtrapatti Bhawan that Nitish would be attending the gala dinner.
“Chief minister Nitish Kumar will leave for the national capital on Saturday. He will attend the gala dinner hosted by the President of India in Delhi on Saturday evening. The CM is expected to return to Patna by Sunday afternoon,” a senior JD(U) leader told TOI on Friday.
The gala dinner is being hosted at the multi-function hall of the Bharat Mandapam, the revamped India Trade Promotion Organization complex at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.
JD(U) national general secretary Rajib Ranjan said the chief minister would be attending the gala dinner because it was being hosted by the President of India in the honour of the visiting delegates of the G-20.
Nitish and PM Modi had their last eye-to-eye contact around 17 months ago in Lucknow on March 25, 2022 during the oath taking ceremony of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Nitish dumped his former ally BJP in the state on August 9, 2022 and just a day after, he formed the grand alliance government with the support of Lalu Prasad-led RJD, Congress and three Left parties.
Prior to forming the grand alliance government, Nitish skipped four such meetings/ dinners in New Delhi which were either chaired, hosted or attended by PM Modi or Union home minister Amit Shah. “Nitish did so just to avoid his face-to-face contact with top BJP leaders like Modi and Shah,” political analysts said.
“He (Nitish) skipped a farewell dinner hosted by PM Modi for outgoing President Ram Nath Kovind on July 22, 2022. After three days, the Bihar CM skipped the swearing-in ceremony of the then President-elect Droupadi Murmu on July 25, last year. Prior to these, Nitish had also skipped a virtual meeting of all CMs on the national flag called by the Union home minister Amit Shah on July 17, 2022. Moreover, the Bihar CM also skipped the NITI Aayog’s governing council meeting on August 7, 2022, just two days prior to dumping the BJP in Bihar,” a senior BJP leader pointed out.

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