Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar submitted his resignation to Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar on Sunday, January 28, ending his party’s 18-month ruling alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress.
This move comes amid speculation that Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), may exit the 28-party INDIA alliance and join hands with BJP-led NDA, once again.
“I have exited the Mahagathbandhan,” said Kumar after leaving Raj Bhawan.
The 72-year-old leader indicated that he was not feeling happy with the way things were in the Mahagathbandhan in the state as well as the INDIA bloc that he helped take shape but which failed to adequately recognise his efforts.
“I will make a new gathbandhan. Old gathbandhan was not in good shape. I have dissolved the government in the state. Things were not going well. Bihar government was in bad shape,” said Nitish Kumar
The development is a massive blow to the INDIA alliance, just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections across the country.
On the resignation of Nitish Kumar as the CM of Bihar, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said, ” Bihar dy chief minister (Tejashwi Yadav) and Lalu Prasad Yadav had hinted regarding this and today it became true. ‘Aise desh mein bahut saare log hein, aaya ram gaya ram’…”
According to the Raj Bhavan, Kumar has been asked to continue as caretaker Chief Minister till the formation of a new government.
The BJP is likely to come up with the offer of support and its national president Jagat Prakash Nadda, who is expected to be present at the swearing-in ceremony, is scheduled to arrive here around 3 p.m.
Kumar, however, did not reveal the cards saying:”The parties which I had earlier aligned with, if they come together again, things will take place. You all will get to know”.
Kumar had joined the Mahagathbandhan in August 2022, when he had snapped ties with the BJP accusing it of trying to “split” his JD(U). He formed a new government with a multi-party coalition that included RJD, Congress, and three Left parties.
In the Bihar Assembly of 243, the RJD has 79 MLAs; followed by the BJP at 78; JD(U) at 45, Congress at 19, the CPI (M-L) at 12, CPI(M) and CPI at 2 each, and the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular)’s at 4. Another two seats are with the AIMIM and an Independent.
(With excerpts from agencies)