As they waited to take oath this morning, Nitish Kumar and Sushil Kumar Modi chatted with the ease that years of being together begets. Mr Kumar is back as Bihar chief minister 14 hours after he resigned, dramatically ending his alliance with Lalu Yadav and the Congress. Sushil Modi is back as his deputy after four years.
Mr Modi tweeted that he has taken oath for the third time as Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister. Each time he has been number 2 to Nitish Kumar, who, he admitted even during their parties' estrangement, he enjoys a good rapport with. That bond was visible also at the Patna home of Nitish Kumar last night, where the BJP arrived en masse after offering support to him.
For over 100 days, Sushil Kumar Modi, the BJP's most senior leader in Bihar tirelessly drove an onslaught against Lalu Yadav, furnishing reams of documents that he said proved huge corruption by the Bihar heavyweight and his family. There would be no let-up in his campaign, he vowed, till the Yadavs were brought to book.
To NDTV last month he said he had help from within the government. "I can't name names but yes, we couldn't have sustained this expose on Lalu's benami properties for over 80 days without the help of JDU leaders," he had said then.
On Wednesday evening, when the Grand Alliance of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav crashed - with Mr Kumar resigning hours after Mr Yadav asserted that his son Tejashwi would not quit as number 2 in the state government despite the corruption charges - Sushil Modi was seen as a key architect of that collapse.
He was waiting with a safety net as Nitish Kumar jumped. BJP chief Amit Shah had phoned Sushil Modi minutes after Nitish Kumar resigned as chief minister and the Bihar leader was soon headed to Mr Kumar's home, announcing, "Nityanand Rai ji and I called Nitish ji. BJP has decided to support him and the government formed under him."
Close to midnight, Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi drove up together to the Governor's house, only about 100 metres away, and staked claim to form government.
"They fixed Sushil Modi to spoil Lalu's image every day," said a bitter Lalu Yadav today.
"They are responsible for the alliance breaking," Sushil Modi said today, declaring that the "Achhe din (good days)" of Bihar will now return.
"The JD(U)-BJP alliance had earlier taken Bihar to new heights in its seven and a half years. At that time, the people of the state used to take pride in saying 'I am a Bihari'. In the last 20 months something went wrong. But now the JD(U)-BJP alliance will again take Bihar to newer heights," the deputy chief minister said.
As number 2 and Nitish Kumar's finance minister till 2013, Suhsil Modi was credited with some of the most important initiatives that the state government took. Nitish Kumar had praised Mr Modi for Bihar's increased revenue then.
The BJP-Janata Dal United reunion brings together two men who have known each other since they were students in Patna and even went to jail at the same time as part of the JP movement.