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Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM, quits NDA, joins RJD-led Grand Alliance

Kumar met Governor Phagu Chauhan at around 4 PM and staked his claim to form a government, with a letter of support from a majority of legislators in the Assembly.

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Patna: Delivering a jolt to the BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday submitted his resignation after walking away from NDA and joining hands with the RJD-led Grand Alliance, to form a new coalition government in the state.

Kumar met Governor Phagu Chauhan at around 4 PM and staked his claim to form a government, with a letter of support from a majority of legislators in the Assembly.

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Kumar, after tendering his resignation, drove straight to 10 Circular Road, the official residence of RJD leader and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi. He would discuss with Rabri Devi and Tejaswi Prasad Yadav, leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly about the modalities for the formation of a new government with the Grand Alliance.

Sources said here that Kumar took the decision to walk away from NDA during the meeting of MPs and legislators of his party Janata Dal (United) convened by him at 1 Anne Marg – the official residence of the state Chief Minister. It is being claimed that all MPs and legislators had unanimously supported the decision to snap ties with BJP and walk away from NDA.

JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh had told media persons before the meeting that there would be discussions in the wake of the RCP episode. Former JD(U) president RCP Singh resigned from the party on Saturday evening following a show cause notice issued to him by the leadership seeking an explanation for “amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income” from 2013 to 2022.

RCP Singh had quit the JD(U) alleging that some party leaders were constantly humiliating him and had crossed all limits.

JD(U) president Singh had said that his party was no more prepared to tolerate the Chirag model. RCP Singh was being prepared as Chirag model by BJP to damage JD(U) as had been done in the 2020 Bihar assembly Elections, he had alleged.

LJP MP Chirag Paswan, despite claiming himself to be part of NDA, had put up candidates against JD(U) in the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls, damaging its electoral prospects and bringing down the JD(U) tally from 71 to 43.

Nitish Kumar’s decision to dump the BJP and join forces with the Grand Alliance triggered an immediate congratulatory message from JD(U) parliamentary board president Upendra Kushwaha.

“Congratulations to Nitish ji for accepting the leadership of the new coalition in a new form. Nitish Ji, go ahead. The country is waiting for you,” Kushwaha tweeted.

On the other hand, Union Minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh lambasted Nitish, alleging that his selfishness caused the breakup of the NDA alliance in Bihar.

“It is openly being discussed that Nitish Kumar was in the race for the prime minister’s post,” said Giriraj, adding that his ambition wouldn’t be fulfilled by remaining in the NDA. So he walked out and moved to the grand alliance.Refuting the charge that the BJP was weakening its alliance partner JD(U), Giriraj said it was the BJP which, even having more strength than Kumar, made him the chief minister.

As it is, Chief Minister Kumar had also snapped ties with the BJP in 2013 when the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was declared as the saffron outfit’s PM candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Modi became the Prime Minister after the BJP emerged victorious along with its allies in the elections under his leadership.

With the JD(U) performing poorly, Kumar resigned as Chief Minister taking “moral responsibility” for his party’s pathetic show, and Jitan Ram Manjhi took over.

However, he returned as Chief Minister on February 22, 2015, and contested the state assembly elections in October-November the same year by forming a Grand Alliance with RJD, Congress and some other parties. The Grand Alliance emerged victorious under Kumar’s leadership, and he became the Chief Minister again.

But, Kumar did another u-turn less than 20 months later, as he deserted the Grand Alliance and rejoined hands with the BJP to form the NDA government.

Things had never exactly been hunky-dory between the BJP and the JDU ever since the NDA’s victory in the state assembly polls towards the end of 2020. The so-called “Chirag model”, followed by the spat between the Chief Minister and Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha – a BJP MLA – furthered embittered ties between the two parties. The RCP episode only proved to be the last nail in the coffin. 

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