Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM: PM Modi welcomes move; Maha-gathbandhan collapses

BT Online        Last Updated: July 26, 2017  | 21:41 IST
Big blow to Grand Alliance: Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar Chief Minister

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday resigned from his post after RJD legislative party decided that Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, against whom corruption charges have been slapped by the CBI, would not be resigning from this post. Nitish tendered his resignation to Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi after RJD top brass established that Tejashwi will not be leaving his post as Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister.

Shortly after Nitish's resignation, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo and Nitish's ally in the Grand Alliance, held a press conference where he made his party's stand clear that it is Janata Dal (United) that must walk away. Lalu had earlier stated that it is him who made Nitish the Chief Minister of Bihar under the Maha-gathbandhan of RJD and JD (U).

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed Nitish Kumar's move to quit as chief minister. In a tweet, the prime minister, on his personal Twitter handle, congratulated Nitish Kumar for joining the fight against corruption.

Later in the night, BJP agreed to extend its support to JD(U) to form government in BIhar with Nitish at the helm. MLAs from both parties are going to meet the Governor to stake claim to form government in the state.

After resigning from his post, Kumar said, "I tried my best to save the alliance. I did not ask for anybody's resignation. Tejashwi met me. I only asked for an explanation on the charges against him. It became impossible to work in this environment. This is the call of my soul. I spoke to Rahul (Gandhi) ji. I wanted to save the alliance. There are questions about someone inside the government. I could not answer for him. There was no point in running this government. This is against my nature and the way I work."

"When I supported demonetisation, I insisted that the Central government must act on benami properties. So how could I continue with charges of benami properties against my own colleague? I have always been against financial impropriety," Kumar added.

Later, PM Modi arrived for the meeting of BJP parlimentary board, which gave rise to speculations that the BJP-led Natioonal Democratic Alliance (NDA) might consider extending support to JD(U) and reinstate Kumar as Bihar CM. JD(U) holds 71 seats in Bihar Legislative Assembly, wherease BJP holds 53. An alliance between the two will result in 124 seats in an Assembly with 243 seats in total and 122 seats being the majority mark.

Other allies of BJP - Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party, Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, and Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustan Awami Parti - with five more seats between them will make it even easier, if JD(U) decides to side with NDA.

Here are the LIVE updates:

9:36 pm: JD(U) and NDA (BJP, LJSP, RLSP and HAM) coming together will get a tally of 129 seats, which crosses the majority mark of 123 seats in Bihar Assembly.

9:31 pm: Nitish to be elected CM, says Sushil Modi

9:27 pm: Nitish Kumar likely to return as Bihar CM as NDA and JD(U) MLAs set to go to meet Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi to stake claim tonight.

9:24 pm: BJPand JD(U) going to meet BIhar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, reports say.

9:21 pm: BJP will extend support to JD(U) to form government in Bihar, says Sushil Modi.

9:05 pm: Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav comes up with a solution of his own, suggesting a CM from each of the three constituent parties of the Grand Alliance to be allowed to lead the Cabinet. Says Nitish Kumar left the fight against RSS out of fear, not looking to assume the office of CM.

8:49 pm: BJP tight-lipped on his stance in the Bihar scenario. Union Minister of Health and BJP Leader JP Nadda refuses to make a comment on party's plans regarding Nitish Kumar and Bihar politics while briefing media personnel after BJP parliamentary board meeting a short while ago.

8:29 pm: Grand Alliance stands, CM has resigned, the three parties (RJD, JD(U) and Congress) should agree on a new leader, says Lalu

7:57 pm: Nitish Kumar didn't ask for any resignation, says RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav during his press conference after Nitish's resignation.

7:45 pm: We are happy that Bihar CM didn't compromise on issue of corruption and did not kneel down before RJD: Sushil Modi, BJP

7:44 pm:  3 member committee has been constituted for making the future plan of action: Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP

7:43 pm: We are not in favour of mid-term elections in Bihar: Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP after Nitish Kumar's resignation

7:41 pm: Before resigning, I had informed Laluji and Congress Bihar incharge CP Joshi: Nitish Kumar

7:40 pm: Gandhiji always said needs can be met on the earth, but greed can never be fulfilled: Nitish Kumar

7:30 pm:  To rise above political differences & fight against corruption in country and& in Bihar in particular, for development is need of the hour: PM Narendra Modi

7:25 pm: Nitish-Lalu alliance was a mismatch. This had to happen: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Nitish Kumar's resignation

7:15 pm: "I was criticised because I supported Ram Nath Kovind as Presidential candidate. Nitish Kumar after his resignation said, "I'm not blaming anyone, those who want to hold me responsible, are free to do so."

7:10 pm: When asked about if JDU will form an alliance with BJP, Kumar said, "All options that are good for Bihar are open."

6:55 pm: Kumar reached Raj Bhavan to and submitted his resignation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. The chief minister before going to the Governor had convened the meeting with its party leaders.

6:45 pm: Speaking exclusively to India Today, Rabri Devi, mother of Tejashwi said that there was no question of her son tendering his resignation over corruption charges which she said was false and baseless.

6:30 pm: "There is no allegation on my son. All charges are baseless. Nitish Kumar has not sought his resignation. I have spoken to Bihar CM in this regard", said Rabri Devi, former Chief Minister and mother of Tejashwi.

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