Patna: Amid growing unease among the partners of the ruling Grand Alliance, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar may join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, local media reported today, citing a series of recent political developments.

Kumar, who heads the Janata Dal United (JD-U), had broken a long-standing alliance with the BJP in June 2013 over the issue of Modi’s growing dominance in the saffron party.

“The top JD-U leadership is currently in talks with the BJP to mend fences amid differences with current ally the RJD [which Lalu Prasad Yadav heads],” Times Now reported today, quoting unnamed sources. The bonhomie between Kumar and PM Modi has been seen on many occasions in recent weeks, giving rise to such speculations.

The “revelation” comes barely hours after the BJP lawmakers enjoyed the sumptuous feast thrown by chief minister Kumar on Monday night. Both BJP and the JD-U were key partners of the NDA before Kumar broke the alliance with the saffron camp in 2013 and dismissed all the BJP ministers from the ruling NDA government in Bihar that he headed.

However, scores of BJP lawmakers, headed by former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, showed up at the official residence of the chief minister on Monday night, leaving everyone guessing.

Adding a further twist to the fast-changing relations, a BJP lawmaker said the Bihar chief minister was eager to restore the old relationship with the party. “Nitish Kumar wants to come closer to the BJP through dinner. After all, he has been part of the NDA for 17 years,” BJP parliamentarian Janardan Singh Sigriwal told local media today.

Last week, the name of deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav was excluded from the invitation cards printed for the “Bihar Diwas” function marked to celebrate 105th formation day of the state. Yadav is the son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, whose party is the major alliance partner in the government. The exclusion of his name prompted Lalu’s family to boycott the function.

Before that, the JD-U backed the BJP candidate Awadhesh Narayan Singh against its ally, RJD nominee in recent Council polls. Eventually, the BJP candidate won. The JD-U also greeted the BJP on its magnificent victory in UP and Uttarkhand assembly polls, surprising its partners.

The JD-U has also spoken out in support of Modi’s demonetisation drive, even as its allies, RJD and the Congress have been protesting on the streets. The JD-U also backed the government’s move to order a surgical strike in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Ironically, it was over Modi’s popularity in June 2013 that Kumar had broken ties with the BJP. However, a spokesperson of the JD-U denied such speculations, saying everything was fine between them. “Our alliance is strong and is working for Bihar’s developments,” senior JD-U leader Shyam Rajak said.