A political alliance challenging Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been dealt a blow ahead of national elections with the leader of an opposition-held state having switched sides to join forces with the ruling party.

Nitish Kumar had led the government in the eastern state of Bihar as chief minister with a coalition of smaller parties since 2022, but over the weekend agreed to form a new government with Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Kumar was one of the key players behind the 28-party alliance created last year to fight the BJP at elections due in a few months time. But he’s considered a fickle partner, having switched alliances several times in the past. His party had previously aligned with the BJP to run the state of Bihar in 2020, before severing ties in 2022.