Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM, to become CM again of new front

The BJP may extend support to Nitish Kumar's JDU in forming the next government and its legislators are meeting in Patna to formalise the decision

ByV V P Sharma

Published Jan 28, 2024 | 12:27 PMUpdatedJan 28, 2024 | 12:28 PM

Nitish Kumar resign

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar quit his post as head of the Mahagathbandhan government early on Sunday, 28 January.

He may take oath as chief minister again this evening of another gathbandhan (alliance), most probably involving the BJP-led NDA.

The Mahagathbandhan he exited comprised the JDU, the RJD and the Congress.

Governor Rajendra V Arlekar accepted the resignation and asked Nitish Kumar to continue as caretaker chief minister till alternate arrangements are made.

Curiously, Nitish is the alternate arrangement.

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‘Things not working out’

He told reporters after coming out of Raj Bhavan that he had tried to set up an alternate front (INDIA bloc), but “things were not working out well”.

Therefore, he said, “I had to resign” on the advice of senior leaders of his party, the JDU.

His explanation was:  “Today, I have resigned as the chief minister, and I have also told the Governor to dissolve the government in the state. This situation came because not everything was alright…I was getting views from everyone. I listened to all of them. Today, the Government has been dissolved.”

Nitish Kumar chaired a meeting of the JDU legislature party at his residence earlier this morning, where a formal decision was made for him to quit.

He is expected to become chief minister again, probably this evening, with the support of the BJP and other constituents of the NDA.

Top BJP national leaders are already camping in Patna to oversee the change of government. The BJP legislators will meet shortly, perhaps to formally pledge support to Nitish Kumar to form the next government.

The Governor will need letters of support from Nitish Kumar’s new allies to satisfy himself that he commands the support of a minimum of 122 MLAs.

Speculations are rife that there may be two Deputy Chief Ministers in the new alliance government.

This is the fourth time that Nitish Kumar has shifted loyalties. When journalists asked him if he was not an opportunist, the caretaker CM said he had “tried his best”.

Also Read: BJP trying its best to create ‘mini-implosions’ in Opposition alliance: Congress

Effect on INDIA bloc

The impact of the political development on the INDIA bloc is still being assessed. Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, currently in West Bengal, will enter Bihar on Monday from Islampur in Uttar Dinajpur district.

In its initial reaction, the Congress said it was a political drama enacted by “chameleon” Nitish Kumar.

Following Nitish Kumar’s resignation, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said that he knew it would happen.

“Earlier he and us were fighting together. When I talked to Lalu Ji and Tejashwi, they also said that Nitish is going. If he wanted to stay, he would have stayed but he wants to go. That’s why we already knew this, but to keep the INDIA alliance intact, if we say something wrong, the wrong message will be sent. This information was already given to us by Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav. Today that came true. There are many people in the country like ‘Aaya Ram-Gaya Ram’,” Kharge said.