Nitish and Modi’s love-hate relationship: Meet the frenemies in Indian politics

When Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi expressed his angst at Janata Dal (United) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar simply walking out of the mahagath bandhan or grand coalition, which he had so assiduously stitched together in the state ahead of the assembly elections in 2015, his pain was understandable – for the grand old party has of late being making overtures to all ‘secular’ parties to put up a united front against the BJP.

There can be no better example of this than the love-hate-love relationship shared by Nitish with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There relationship is best describes as that of a ‘frenemy’ or a person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.

Once holding Modi in high esteem, Nitish changed his views in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots, even going so far as to end his 17-year alliance with the NDA after it chose Modi to lead its charge in the 2014 general elections and then becoming a bitter critic in the prime READ MORE