Nitish Kumar ditches grand alliance, to take oath with BJP support on Thursday

Nitish Kumar ditches grand alliance, to take oath with BJP support on Thursday
Nitish Kumar ditches grand alliance, to take oath with BJP support on Thursday

On a day of dramatic developments, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar resigned today, dumping RJD over corruption charges against his deputy Tejashwi Yadav. Soon JD(U) decided to join hands with BJP, and the new government will sworn in under Nitish Kumar’s leadership at 5PM, on Thursday.

Citing irreconcilable differences with the senior ally over corruption charges against Tejashwi, son of Lalu Prasad, Kumar announced his resignation after meeting Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, hours after the RJD supremo rejected outright the demand for his son’s ouster.

Kumar’s resignation capped days of stand-off between his party JD(U) and the RJD with the former insisting that Tejashwi defend himself against the allegations. “In the circumstances that prevail in Bihar, it became difficult to run the grand alliance government,” Kumar told reporters outside Raj Bhavan after submitting his resignation to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi.

Congress top leaders weren’t kept in the loop

Reacting to Nitish’s resignation, Lalu Prasad Yadav said that the MLAs of grand alliance should meet and elect a new leader. He says that as RJD has the most number of MLAs, next CM should be from their party.

Lalu gave a new twist to Kumar’s resignation, saying a pending case against him and not the differences over corruption charges against Tejashwi was at the root the the JD(U) leader’s “resignation drama”. In the 1991 Lok Sabha polls, a man named Sitaram Singh was killed at a polling station in Pandarak and Nitish Kumar is among the accused. He had made a mention of the case in the affidavit he filed while contesting the Legislative Council election, Lalu told a press conference.

He claimed a court in Barh had taken cognizance of the charges against Kumar in 2009 and that the case was still alive in the Patna High Court. “Nitish knew that he was soon going to be hauled up by the court and will have to quit in any case. He made the Tejashwi issue a ruse to exit before that happens,” the RJD boss claimed.

Analysis: How Opposition paid for corruption again

Minutes after that PM Modi tweeted lauding Nitish Kumar for taking a strong stance against corruption. He said that 125 crore Indians will support Nitish Kumar’s decision. Kumar responded with a quick tweet saying,” I thank the prime minister from the core of my heart for praising my decision (of quitting).”

How Lalu reacted

Kumar’s JD(U) has 71 seats, while RJD headed by Tejashwi Yadav’s father Lalu Prasad, has 80. The BJP has 53. Asked if he will now form a government with BJP’s support, he said,”Whatever had to happen has happened. Now see what happens next.”

Here’s how the number game adds up

Kumar, who led the grand alliance that also included the Congress to a stunning victory, was sworn in on November 20 2015.

Earlier Lalu said, “Has Nitish asked for the resignation of Tejaswi Yadav?” “Are they (JD(U)) the police that we have to answer them?” he shot back in response to another question that JD(U) spokesmen have been regularly saying that Tejaswi Yadav has to come clean on the issue.

Flanked by wife Rabri Devi, son Tejaswi Yadav and senior party leader Jagdanand Singh, Prasad, in an apparent rejection of JD(U)’s demand, said, “I myself and Tejaswi will speak where it’s required.”

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