Political history repeated itself in Bihar after five years when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did a turnaround on Tuesday and joined hands again with the Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) whom he had dumped in 2017 on the issue of corruption. This time, Mr. Kumar parted ways with the BJP and was elected leader of the RJD-led mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). He staked claim before Governor Phagu Chouhan to form the next government with the support of 164 MLAs of seven parties.
“Will never compromise on the issue of corruption and do service to people of Bihar along with others”, Mr. Kumar told media persons after returning from the Raj Bhawan. Asked when he would be taking oath, he said, “it is up to the Governor to give time for the swearing-in ceremony”. After several flip-flops, Mr. Kumar this time would be taking oath as Chief Minister of Bihar for the eighth time since he first came to power in November 2005. Earlier, after submitting his resignation, Mr. Kumar told journalists outside the Raj Bhawan, “in today’s [Tuesday’s] meeting of all my party MPs, MLAs, Council members and leaders they expressed their desire to snap ties with the BJP and immediately I accepted their desire and came to the Raj Bhawan to resign from my post of NDA’s Chief Minister”.
Time for Bihar’s change of Government
JD(U) MPs and MLAs converge at Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s residence for a meeting - 11 AM
· MLAs of the opposition RJD, the largest party in the state assembly, hold parallel meeting - 11.15 AM
· RJD-led Grand Alliance, comprising Left and Congress, meet at former CM Rabri Devi’s residence, where MLAs sign a letter of support for Nitish Kumar - 1 PM
· JD(U) hails Kumar, its de facto leader, for assuming the "leadership of a new coalition", Left iterates its support for him in an alliance sans BJP. - 2 PM
· Nitish Kumar meets Governor Phagu Chauhan, tenders his resignation, following which he says that he has quit as “NDA’s chief minister”. 4 PM
· Nitish Kumar reaches former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi's house to confabulate with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. 4.45 PM
· Nitish Kumar returns to Raj Bhavan with the Leader of the Opposition and his former deputy Tejashwi Yadav, armed with a letter of support for the JD(U) and other parties. 5.20 PM
· Nitish Kumar stakes claim to form new government in Bihar for an Eighth time.- 6 PM
Total Strength - 243
Effective Strength - 242 (1 RJD member disqualified)
Majority - 122
Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) :- JD(U) - 46 (45 party MLAs, 1 Independent) RJD - 79 Congress - 19 CPI(ML) - 12 CPI - 02 CPI(M) - 02 HAM - 04 - TOTAL - 164
BJP - 77 AIMIM - 01
Here are the live updates:
Nitish to take oath as CM on Wednesday
After being elected leader of the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), Nitish Kumar will be taking oath as Chief Minister again at the Raj Bhawan on August 10, 2022 at 4 pm.
Akhilesh welcomes Nitish quitting BJP alliance
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday welcomed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's decision to walkout of the BJP alliance, calling it a "good beginning".
Speaking to reporters, Yadav said, "This is a good beginning today, the day when slogan of 'Bharat chhodo' (Quit India) was given against the British. If the slogan of 'BJP bhagaao' (drive away the BJP) is coming from Bihar, I feel that in other states also, parties will stand against the BJP, and so is people." When asked to comment on Nitish Kumar and about the stand he has taken, the SP chief said, "He is a leader with vast experience. What could be said about him. He knows Bihar and the arithmetic of Bihar politics better."
About who will be the CM face, Nitish Kumar or Tejaswi Yadav, of the new alliance in Bihar, the SP chief said, "That will be their decision and it will be decided in the alliance. When an alliance is made, decision is made on a number of things put together."
On talks in political circles that Nitish Kumar could be the opposition face in the 2024 general election, SP's chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI in Lucknow, "Nitish is our old partner and we have worked together since the days of the Lok Dal. This is not the time to discuss about the prime ministerial candidate."
Nitish Kumar: Master of the art of changing governments
Nitish Kumar has again proven that he is a master of the art of changing governments.
For some, it was a reversal of happenings in 2017, when he dumped the RJD-led 'Mahagathbandhan' to rejoin the NDA, while for others it was a reversal of happenings in Maharshtra where a Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP government was overthrown to form a BJP-rebel Sena government.
Said Ranabir Samaddar, well-known political scientist and former professor of Maulana Azad Institute of Asian Studies, “Bihar has become the flipside of the Maharashtra coin.” The frequent change of platforms — from secular socialist to aligning with a right wing party to being upholder of Dalit rights — may have diminished Nitish’s standing as the ‘sushasan’ (good governance) man, but his political ability to do the impossible has certainly not diminished.
“If he sustains the momentum of what he managed to do now with his new movement, then 2024 general elections in Bihar, where 40 crucial seats will go to polls, will prove to be a real battleground for the BJP,” said CPIML(L) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, who also practices psephology.
The 71-year-old Kumar, who became chief minister for a record eighth time, had started out as an engineer in the Bihar Electricity Board to join politics under aegis of socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia and participated in Jayprakash Narayan’s movement in the 1970s.
After many torturous splits and mergers of the Socialist party, Kumar formed the Janata Dal (United). A JD(U)-BJP combine tried to end the long reign in Bihar of rival erstwhile socialist Lalu Prasad’s RJD, and in March 2000, he was elected chief minister of the state for the first time. However, this government was short-lived as the NDA did not have the numbers and had to make way for the RJD.
Mr. Kumar then joined the Atal Behari Vajpayee cabinet and proved to be a good administrator in his new role as railway minister, introducing computerised railway reservation among other initiatives.
The backward Kurmi community leader was elected chief minister again in 2005 and this time he had the numbers to continue. Dubbed the 'sushasan' (good governance) man, Kumar improved the backward state’s law and order situation, improved its infrastructure and educational institutions.
After three terms as NDA chief minister, Kumar dumped the saffron party and joined hands with arch-rival Lalu Prasad’s RJD and the Congress to come back to power in 2015 as chief minister once again.
However, this uneasy alliance lasted till 2017, and he did a volte face once again to rejoin the NDA, leaving the 'Mahagathbandhan’ high and dry. The story of course is playing out in reverse today.
“Nitish’s move today is a new chapter in one form of federalisation of politics (where regional parties are taking control of states), while Maharashtra where BJP formed a coalition government is one form of centralization of politics,” said Samaddar. -- PTI
Nitish's exit from NDA a shot in the arm for Opposition: DMK
The ruling DMK on Tuesday said its president M K Stalin's vision to fight the BJP at the national level has gained momentum with Nitish Kumar's JD(U) pulling out of the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar.
To take on the Saffron party at the Centre, DMK organisation secretary R S Bharathi said that his party president M K Stalin, also Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, had batted for opposition parties to join hands, well ahead of the Presidential election held last month.
This vision of his party chief to fight the BJP nationally, has now gained momentum and it would pick up more traction ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election, Bharathi told PTI Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Tuesday resigned as NDA Chief Minister to stake claim to form a new government after being unanimously declared the leader of the opposition Grand Alliance.
Apparently, the DMK leader indicated that such mobilization of anti-BJP forces would eventually dislodge the Saffron party from the seat of power at the Centre in 2024 Lok Sabha election.
Submitted list of 164 MLAs to Governor, says NItish
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said “We submitted list of 164 MLAs to Governor and staked claim to form new government; he will let us know when oath-taking can take place.”
Developments in Bihar strong indictment of BJP's 'politics of intimidation', says Opposition
Opposition parties on Tuesday said the JD(U) breaking ranks with the BJP is a "strong indictment" of the saffron party's "politics of intimidation" and shows a change in Indian politics.
Earlier in the day, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Governor Phagu Chauhan and tendered his resignation. This came after the decision to quit the BJP-led NDA was taken at a meeting of JD(U) MPs and MLAs at Mr. Kumar's residence.
"#NitishKumar breaking alliance with BJP is a strong indictment of the politics of intimidation practiced by BJP.
"BJP's authoritarianism leaves no scope for cooperation. After Akalis & Shiv Sena, JD(U) is latest example. Cracks are visible in the relationship of BJP & AIADMK too," Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said in a tweet.
CPI MP Binoy Viswam said the events in Bihar indicate that a change is underway.
"Bihar conveys the message of far reaching change in Indian politics. It's final outcome depends up on the level of insight expected from the important players. The left will definitely play the responsible role in its consistant fight against RSS-BJP (sic)," said Viswam in a tweet.
Nitish Kumar reaches Raj Bhavan again to stake claim to form government
Nitish Kumar reaches Governor’s house to stake claim as Chief Minister of ‘Mahagathbandhan’ alliance. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also accompanied him along with other mahagathbandhan leaders. - Amarnath Tewary
Union minister Ashwini Choubey slams Nitish as opportunistic
BJP leader and Union minister Ashwini Choubey accused Nitish Kumar of being “opportunistic” and said those “betraying” Bihar want to create obstacles in its development.
He made the remarks at the airport while heading to Patna to take part in a BJP core group meeting this evening to take stock of the evolving political situation in the wake up of a break-up with ally Janata Dal (United). - PTI
Chirag Paswan demands President’s rule in Bihar
Chirag Paswan slammed Nitish Kumar for insulting the people’s mandate for the second time and demanded the imposition of President’s Rule in the state followed by fresh elections.
The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader also came out in support of the BJP amid the political turmoil in Bihar and said the saffron party had accepted everything that Kumar wanted as chief minister and even compromised on its own policies.- PTI
Will remain BJP ally, impossible to get leader like PM Modi: Bihar leader and Union minister Paras
Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party leader and Union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras announced that his party will remain with the BJP as it is impossible to get another leader like Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Our party is with the BJP 100%,” Mr. Paras said following a meeting of its parliamentary board where a decision to back the BJP was taken amid an imminent collapse of the saffron party’s alliance with the Janata Dal (United).- PTI
BJP core group to meet in Patna
The Bihar BJP core group will meet on August 9 evening to take stock of the evolving political situation in the state as a break-up with ally Janata Dal (United) appeared imminent.
Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal is expected to chair the meeting which is likely to be attended by both deputy chief ministers, former state party presidents and other senior leaders.
Former deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, Union ministers Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Choubey, and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have left for Patna from the national capital to attend the meeting.- PTI
Nitish Kumar elected as leader of Mahagathbandhan
Nitish Kumar has been elected as leader of Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance). - Amarnath Tewary
Betrayal of people’s mandate, says BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal
“Whatever happened today was a violation and betrayal with people’s mandate given in 2020 assembly poll and people of Bihar would not tolerate this”, said Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal.
Nithish Kumar reaches RJD office
Nitish Kumar has now reached the office residence of RJD leader Rabri Devi, 10 Circular Road to meet Tejashwi Yadav. - Amarnath Tewary
Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM
Nitish Kumar resigned as Bihar Chief Minister and also staked a claim to form the government by submitting letter of support of 160 MLAs.
Speaking to media persons outside Raj Bhavan, Mr. Kumar said, “I’ve come out of NDA and tendered my resignation to the Governor which has been accepted by him”. Following that, he left for the official residence of the CM at 1, Anne Marg. - Amarnath Tewary
The big picture
In the State Assembly, which has an effective strength of 242, requiring 121 MLAs for a majority, the RJD has the highest number of 79 MLAs followed by the BJP (77) and the JD(U) with 44.
The JD(U) also enjoys the support of four MLAs of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha and an Independent.
The Congress has 19 MLAs while the CPIML(L) has 12 and CPI and CPI(M) have two each.
Besides, one MLA belongs to Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM. - PTI
Left offers support to JD(U)
CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya had said his party, with 12 MLAs in the Bihar Assembly, was ready to support the JD(U) if it left the BJP.
Congress announces support
Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha said his party MLAs will “support the anti-BJP government in the State.” The Congress has 19 MLAs in the State Legislative Assembly. - Amarnath Tewary
CM Nitish Kumar ends alliance with BJP, to meet Governor at 4 p.m.
Amid a political storm brewing in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is set to meet Governor Phagu Chauhan at 4 pm on August 9. In the meeting convened by Mr. Kumar on Tuesday morning to discuss the situation in his party, he formally announced that the alliance between JD(U) and BJP has broken off.
Mr. Kumar cited several conspiratorial steps by BJP to dethrone his government from power as the reason for taking the extreme step. - Amarnath Tewary
Parallel meetings of JD(U), RJD begin amid soaring political temperatures in Bihar
Parallel meetings of the JD(U) which helms the Bihar government, and the opposition RJD are on here Tuesday amid speculations of a major political move by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The meeting of JD(U) MPs and MLAs is being held at the chief minister’s official residence, party sources said. - PTI
All eyes on Bihar
All eyes are now on Bihar as the meetings called by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and the opposition RJD, of their respective legislators have triggered speculations of seismic political developments in the state.
Nitish calls JD(U) meet in Patna as political crisis brews in Bihar
A political storm seems to be brewing in Bihar, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar convening a meeting of MPs and MLAs of the Janata Dal (U) on Tuesday to discuss the situation in his party and the State following the resignation of former national president R.C.P. Singh from the party on very bitter terms.
RCP Singh was in Modi’s cabinet and was dropped after the JD(U) decided not to re-nominate him for the Rajya Sabha which made his continuation in the Union Council of Ministers untenable. Mr. Singh after resigning said that he could join BJP.