Nitish resigns as NDA's Chief Minister; stakes claim to form new govt

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Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD accompanied him to the Governor’s house and submitted a list of 164 MLAs

Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar with Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap, in Patna, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. Kumar, Tuesday submitted his resignation from the post of Bihar's CM to Governor Phagu Chauhan. (PTI Photo)

PATNA: JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar staked claim to form a Mahaghatbandhan (MGB) government comprising seven parties including the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, hours after he met Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan and submitted his resignation shortly after snapping ties with NDA on Tuesday.

Kumar will be Chief Minister of Bihar for the eighth time. Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD accompanied him to the Governor’s house and submitted a list of 164 MLAs.

Earlier, following a meeting with JD(U) MPs and MLAs that he chaired at his official residence, Kumar met the Governor and submitted his resignation. “The MPs and MLAs of my party met today and decided to snap ties with the NDA government. I met the governor and resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar,” he said after submitting his resignation.

Next, Kumar called on RJD leader and former chief minister Rabri Devi where Congress and Party leaders and met earlier to discuss the formula to support the JD(U) in forming the Mahagathbandhan government.

Then, after holding a brief discussion with Mahagathbandhan leaders, Kumar met the Governor for the second time and staked claim to form government, accompanied by Tejashwi Yadav.

“I have the support of seven political parties and 164 MLAs. The agenda of this government would be to work for the development of the state. There will be no compromise on corruption,” Kumar said after meeting the Governor.

Tejashwi Yadav said, "History tells that the BJP destroys the parties with whom it forms an alliance. We have seen this happening elsewhere also." 

Kumar said he would wait for the Governor to call him to form government.

Asked why he chose to end his ties with the NDA, Kumar said, “The situation was being created to divide society which I did not like. There are many other things which didn’t go well with my party leaders”.

JD(U) leaders said that there have been many issues which triggered a conflict with the BJP. They said Kumar during the meeting said that the BJP tried to weaken his government on many occasions.

They said that the party was convinced that it was the BJP and Chirag Paswan, son of late Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Jantantrik Party (LJP) who was behind the JD(U)’s poor show during the 2020 elections. The JD(U) was reduced to the third position with 45 seats.

Kumar was also upset when BJP dominated the Cabinet in 2020 and installed two deputy chief ministers. He also saw R.C.P.  Singh as part of the BJP’s conspiracy to cause a split in the JD(U).

Party leaders said that Nitish Kumar felt on many occasions that there wasn’t enough support despite the “double-engine government.” He also found no support from the BJP when the Speaker raised questions about the law and order scenario. The situation got out of hand in March and resulted in a war of words between the two on the floor of the house.

As politics heated up after the NDA government collapsed, the BJP appeared on the back foot. It accused Kumar of “betraying the people of Bihar by switching partners.”

Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad who landed in Patna immediately after Kumar resigned said, “he ended his ties with Mahagathbandhan on the issue of corruption now he has once again returned to their camp. This has been his habit to switch sides. Does he even remember what he used to say during elections? He has betrayed the people of Bihar and insulted the mandate by switching sides.”