Live updates: BJP backs Nitish, Tejashwi says RJD will stake claim

Nitish Kumar addresses the press after his resignation.   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has resigned, citing irreconcilable differences with ally RJD on the issue of corruption charges against his deputy Tejashwi Yadav.

“In the circumstances that prevail in Bihar, it became difficult to run the grand alliance government,” Mr. Kumar told reporters outside Raj Bhavan after submitting his resignation to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi. He did not rule out taking BJP’s support for forming a new government.

“I tried to work it out....I did not ask for anybody’s resignation...I just asked Tejashwi to explain the charges of corruption,” he said.

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.”

The Numbers

Total seats: 243, RJD: 80, JD(U): 71, Cong.: 27, BJP: 53 LJSP: 2, RLSP: 2, HAM (S): 1; CPI(ML-L) 3, Independents 4.

JD(U)+NDA: 129. 

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

Earlier, JD(U) sources told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar may resign, as chief of the alliance partner, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Lalu Prasad, asserted in the day that his son and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav would not resign over corruption charges.

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Mr. Kumar held a meeting with party legislators and leaders at his official residence and later drove to the Raj Bhavan.

Nitish Kumar arrives at the Raj Bhavan in Patna on July 26, 2017 ahead of tendering his resignation to Governor K.N. Tripathi.

Nitish Kumar arrives at the Raj Bhavan in Patna on July 26, 2017 ahead of tendering his resignation to Governor K.N. Tripathi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

The RJD too held a meeting of its party leaders to assert their stand that Mr. Tejashwi Yadav would not resign. RJD leaders also charged the BJP with orchestrating the rift in the grand alliance government in Bihar

The JD(U) and Mr. Kumar have been insisting that Mr. Yadav come clean on the accusations in public which are politically being construed as the JD(U)’s demand for his resignation.

Latest updates:

Thursday - 12.15 am: RJD will stake claim to form government, says Tejashwi Yadav

11.45 pm: JD (U) party sources said that Nitish Kumar will stake claim to form the government with the BJP on Thursday.

10.30 pm: The BJP tonight handed over to Bihar Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi. the letter extending support to Nitish Kumar for forming the next government.

State BJP chief Nityanand Rai and senior party leader Sushil Kumar Modi drove to Raj Bhavan.

9.30 pm: PTI reports quoting Sushil Kumar Modi that the BJP has decided to support Mr. Kumar as Chief Minister. Legislators of NDA constituents and JD(U) will meet and elect Mr. Kumar as their leader, he says adding BJP will be the part of the government.

8.35 pm: IANS reports: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says it’s up to Mr. Kumar on aligning with the BJP to form a new government. “The break-up was bound to happen. There is no place for honesty and moral values in Lalu Prasad’s politics. There was no coordination... convenience was the only reason for the alliance (between JD—U and Rashtriya Janata Dal). Such alliance does not work long,” the Union Minister for Law and Justice says in New Delhi.

On the possibility of the BJP extending support to Mr. Kumar, he says: “It is for Nitish Kumar to decide his future course. Nitish Kumar remained a Minister in Atalji’s government (at the Centre). He governed Bihar with the help of the BJP for eight years. We did not leave him, but he left us in 2013.”

The Minister says Mr. Prasad had made it clear that his son Mr. Tejashwi Yadav would not resign from the state Cabinet after allegations of graft.

8.25 pm: PTI reports: Sushil Kumar Modi too echoes high command’s stand, says BJP does not favour mid-term polls in Bihar, wants all legislators to complete their term.

“We are happy that Nitish Kumar did not compromise on the issue of corruption and did not bow down to the RJD. The BJP is not in favour of mid-term polls and wants that all MLAs complete their term,” he tells reporters in Patna.

State BJP meeting decides that Mr. Sushil Modi and some other leaders will apprise the central party leadership of the developments.

8.10 pm: Lalu Prasad’s reaction: The RJD supremo seizes on the Prime Minister's almost immediate tweet after Mr. Kumar’s resignation announcement. “Ye (Nitish Kumar) mile hue hain BJP, RSS se. Kya setting hai, PM Modi turant tweet kar diye, Nitish Kumar ko badhaai de diye (Nitish Kumar has joined hands with BJP, RSS. What a setting? PM Modi tweets immediately and congratulates Nitish Kumar),” ANI reports quoting Mr. Prasad as saying

8 pm: First official reaction from BJP: Party welcomes battle against corruption in Bihar and the BJP is not in favour of mid-term elections, news agency ANI reports quoting Health Minister J.P. Nadda as saying after BJP Parliamentary Board meeting.

PTI reports: Three-member panel formed in Bihar to talk to BJP MLAs and report to leadership for final call, says Mr. Nadda.

Congress reaction as reported by ANI: “Mahagathbandhan was given a 5 year mandate by people of Bihar. We shall continue to strive the mandate given is fully respected,” parry spokesman says R. Surjewala.

 

7.22 pm: If the BJP and its allies extend support to Mr. Kumar and he chooses to accept it, the numbers of the new arrangement will go well past the half-way mark at 129.

7.20 pm:

The sudden development throws the politics of Bihar into chaos with no party having a majority in the 243-member Assembly. Mr. Kumar’s JD(U) has 71 seats, while the RJD has 80. The BJP has 53.

The Numbers:

Total seats 243

Half-way mark 122

RJD 80

JD(U) 71

Congress 27

BJP 53

LJSP 2

RLSP 2

HAM (S) 1

CPI(ML-L) 3

Independents 4

7.10 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets in support of Mr. Kumar;  congratulates the latter for joining the fight against corruption.

Mr. Modi’s tweet comes almost Immediately after Mr. Kumar’s announcement. Mr. Modi says: “Congratulations! Mr Nitish Kumar for joining the fight against corruption.

“1.25 crore people are welcoming and supporting his honesty”

“For the bright future of the country, and especially Bihar, it is the need of the hour to rise above political differences and join the fight against corruption.”

 

7 p. m: Mr. Kumar is addressing the media after meeting the Governor:

“I informed Lalu and C.P. Joshi of the Congress that I was going to resign, ” he says.

When asked whether the BJP will extend support to him to run a govt. Mr. Kumar says: “I ran a government for 20 months — one third of the govt tenure. Let us see what will happen in the future.”

“I tried in the last 15 days to find a way out, but failed. I am not blaming anyone,” Mr. Kumar says.

“Governor has accepted my resignation.  

“Not possible for me to continue as CM in the current circumstances. 

“I was attacked for supporting Kovind as President.     

“Opposition has no agenda, no discourse. They have only reactive agenda.

“I supported demonetisation and I faced so many charges.

 

(With agency inputs)             

 

      

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 8:17:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nitish-kumar-resigns-as-bihar-cm/article19364717.ece

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