Nitish joins hands with BJP: Bihar’s political scenario

Bihar mega alliance collapses, Nitish back with BJP

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with senior leader of BJP Sushil Kumar Modi at legislators meeting in Patna on Wednesday.  

The standoff in the ruling coalition in Bihar took a dramatic turn on Wednesday, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar submitting his resignation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, saying indirectly that his tenure was no longer tenable as Tejashwi Yadav, his deputy from the Rashtriya Janata Dal who was facing corruption charges, had refused to resign.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately hailed Mr. Kumar’s uncompromising stand on corruption and the Bharatiya Janata Party extended support to the JD(U) to form the next government.

With the JD(U) and the BJP unwilling to face a mid-term poll, the BJP late in the evening handed over to the Governor the letter extending support to Mr. Kumar.State BJP chief Nityanand Rai and senior party leader Sushil Kumar Modi drove to the Raj Bhavan and handed over the letter.

In all likelihood, Mr. Kumar will take oath on Thursday as Chief Minister of the National Democratic Alliance government with the BJP in the new coalition. The swearing-in will take place at Raj Bhavan at 5 p.m.

 

However, the RJD indicated it would not give up without a fight. Mr. Tejashwi tweeted that as the largest party, it would also stake claim to form the government, ANI reported.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Kumar told journalists after meeting the Governor: “I tried my best to work for the development of Bihar, but now it has become impossible for me to lead the alliance government. It’s the voice of my conscience. This is the way I’ve been working all my career.” The Governor accepted the resignation and asked him to continue as acting CM. According to Mr. Kumar, he tried his utmost in the last 17 days to find a way out. “I spoke to Laluji… I had a meeting with Tejashwi and I also spoke to Rahul Gandhi for a way out but nothing happened... Whenever I spoke to Laluji the message was that we’re in trouble and please help…but it’s a self-created problem and it must be explained, but even that did not happen.”

Mr. Kumar declared that “his commitment was towards the people of Bihar and its development.”

Asked about Opposition unity, he said that he was always for it “but what is the agenda of the Opposition. A reactive agenda will not work.” He, however, did not disclose his future strategy saying, “let’s see what will happen next.” Earlier, in the day Mr. Kumar had called a meeting of his Janata Dal (United) leaders and legislators to discuss the situation and after an hour he drove straight to the Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation.

The RJD too held a meeting of its party leaders and legislators in the afternoon and later party chief Lalu Prasad reiterated that there was no question of Mr. Tejaswi Yadav’s resignation.

“We had made Nitish Kumar Chief Minister and stitched together the grand alliance assiduously which has a mandate for five years… the CM has never demanded any resignation,” said Mr. Yadav. “If Mr. Kumar doesn’t want to run the government that is his problem.”

“It is for the CBI to seek clarification, not JD(U)…has JD(U) become the police to seek clarifications?”, Mr. Prasad asked. Mr. Tejaswi Yadav said, “it’s all the BJP gameplan to create a rift in the grand alliance government…it is their (BJP) plan to have BJP Chief Ministers in every State.”

On the corruption charges made against him, Mr. Tejaswi Yadav said, “what corruption? It’s all fabrication…and I’ve given my answer to the investigating agencies…I too have my public image to defend.”

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 4:50:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bihar-mega-alliance-collapses-nitish-back-with-bjp/article19366826.ece

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