Nitish Kumar Resigns As Chief Minister Of Bihar Ahead Of NDA Return



Patna:

In his fifth flip-flop in a decade, Nitish Kumar has resigned as Bihar Chief Minister after days of political speculation. Mr Kumar met Bihar Governor Rajendra Arlekar this morning and handed over his resignation. The Governor has asked Mr Kumar to continue as caretaker Chief Minister till a new government is in place.

“I have resigned as Chief Minister and ended this government. I was getting suggestions from all around. I had quit an earlier alliance for a new tie-up. But the situation was not okay. So I have resigned,” he told reporters. On what comes next, he said “parties will meet and a decision will be taken”.

Mr Kumar said he took the decision following suggestions by his party members. “I was facing difficulties in working with this alliance. When I explained this to party members, they advised me to resign,” he said.

He also referred to the INDIA alliance and how things were not moving. “I got an alliance forged, but nobody was doing anything,” he said, in an apparent reference to the Opposition bloc that aims to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls this year. Mr Kumar was one of the Opposition leaders at the forefront of forging the INDIA bloc. His resignation comes as a massive setback to the Opposition bloc months before it takes on the formidable BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.

In his first remarks after resignation, Mr Kumar also referred to a credit contest, apparently a swipe at his estranged ally, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. “People were claiming that they are doing all the work,” Mr Kumar said. This is Mr Kumar’s resignation in a political career, which saw his rise as a model of good governance before his repeated jumps across the political aisle hit is popularity and his party JDU’s electoral weight.

The BJP, which had last year said its doors have closed for Mr Kumar forever, is set to tie up with JDU again. The BJP’s legislators, it is learnt, have already signed and submitted letters of support for Mr Kumar. BJP MLAs and state leaders held a meeting this morning, shortly before Mr Kumar reached the Raj Bhavan. BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde said the BJP is set to tie up with Mr Kumar’s party again. “All BJP MLAs have unanimously backed the proposal to form a BJP-JDU government again for the  welfare of the people of Bihar,” he told the media. Mr Tawde said Bihar BJP president Samrat Choudhary has been chosen as the leader of the party in Assembly.  Vijay Sinha, he said, would be the BJP’s deputy leader in the House. According to the BJP sources, both Mr Choudhary and Mr Sinha may be sworn in as Deputy Chief Ministers to Mr Kumar, set for his ninth term in the top post. 

Soon after Mr Kumar’s resignation, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said he knew this would happen. In a swipe, he added that many people in the country are like ‘Aaya Ram-Gaya Ram’.

“If he wanted to stay, he would have stayed, but he wants to go. We already knew this, but to keep the INDIA Alliance intact, if we said something wrong, a wrong message would have been be sent. This information was already given to us by Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav. Today, it came true. There are many people in the country like ‘Aaya Ram-Gaya Ram’,” Mr Kharge said.



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