Nitish resigns as Chief Minister : Bihar set for JD(U)-BJP govt
In a day of much political drama in Bihar, Nitish Kumar on Wednesday resigned as Chief Minister dumping the RJD and Congress to stitch a new alliance with BJP, which quickly announced support to a new government under him and said it will join it too.
Nitish Kumar, whose resignation was immediately accepted by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, is expected to stake claim to form the new government on Thursday in which Sushil Kumar Modi is likely to return as Deputy Chief Minister.
Ending a 20-month-long coalition of the Grand Alliance that defeated the BJP in 2015, Nitish Kumar met the Governor on Wednesday evening and handed his resignation claiming he can't work in the "current circumstances" following corruption charges against Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav — son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
But he didn't rule out a tie-up with the BJP to run a future government. As if in synchronization, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Nitish Kumar's resignation, the BJP announced its support to the JD-U leader, Bihar BJP leaders had dinner with Nitish Kumar and then gave a letter of support to the Governor — all in a matter of three hours.
"I have been doing my best to provide good governance... But the circumstances have so developed that it was difficult for a person like me to continue to be in power. That is why I met the Governor and gave my resignation," he told reporters outside Raj Bhavan.
He was initially evasive about taking support from the Bharatiya Janata Party. "What has to happen has happened. What will happen now you keep watching. We will definitely keep Bihar's interest in mind and do what is good for Bihar and its people," he said.
Nitish Kumar did not recommend the dissolution of the assembly, indicating his willingness to work with the BJP.
Shortly after Prime Minister Modi welcomed the developments in Bihar, BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said his party was against mid-tern polls.
Tensions simmered between the two alliance partners ever since the CBI registered a case against Lalu Prasad, his wife and former chief minister Rabri devi and son Tejashwi in a land-for-hotels case.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad said the developments were "pre-planned" and accused Nitish Kumar of being in league with Narendra Modi and the RSS. He said Nitish Kumar resigned not because of Tejashwi Yadav but due to a murder case against him.
Lalu Prasad also suggested that the legislators of the JD-U, RJD and Congress should elect a new leader minus Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav to form a new government.