Bihar CM Nitish Kumar resigns, ponders joining NDA amid INDIA bloc turmoil

| Updated: 28 January, 2024 12:47 pm IST
Nitish kumar tenders resignation, contemplates NDA alliance.

NEW DELHI: On Sunday, Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar submitted his resignation and is anticipated to establish a new government in collaboration with the BJP. This development coincides with increased speculations about discord within the INDIA bloc. According to media sources, Kumar is expected to be sworn in as the Chief Minister later today, with the BJP providing support, after 3 pm.

“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,” said Nitish Kumar.

BJP National General Secretary Vinod Tawde took to microblogging site X, and wrote, “Due to the resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, BJP Bihar has called a meeting of the legislature party. This meeting will take place after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ program. In this meeting the political situation of the state and further strategy will be discussed.”

In 2022, Nitish Kumar departed from the alliance to establish the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ with the opposition. Earlier, several NDA leaders, including former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, had suggested the possibility of a rift within the JD(U)-RJD alliance.

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Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, had previously indicated his expectation of a shift in the political scenario in the state. He commented, “Recently, I had said that there would be a change in Bihar after January 20, and the basis of this was Nitish Kumar’s statement.” Manjhi further noted that Nitish Kumar’s aspirations of becoming the Prime Minister had been dashed.

In 2022, Nitish Kumar, following his separation from the BJP, led efforts to bring together various opposition forces with the goal of collectively challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling party in the upcoming national election. He convened the inaugural gathering of opposition parties in Patna, and there was widespread belief that he would ultimately assume the role of the coalition’s coordinator.

The sequence of events began when Rohini Acharya, the daughter of former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav, criticised the ruling ally JDU on X. In her post, she remarked that while the ‘socialist party’ (JDU) portrays itself as progressive, its ideology fluctuates with the changing wind patterns. This statement subsequently caused divisions within the ruling alliance.

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In Bihar, where there are a total of 40 Lok Sabha members, the BJP holds the highest count with 17 MPs. The JD(U), led by Nitish Kumar, has 16 members, and another NDA ally, LJP, currently divided between Pashupati Kumar Paras and Chirag Paswan, has six members.

Within the Bihar Assembly, which comprises 243 members, the RJD holds 79 seats, closely followed by the BJP with 78. The JD(U) has 45 seats, the Congress has 19, the CPI (M-L) has 12, and both the CPI(M) and CPI each have two seats. The Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) holds four seats, while the AIMIM has one, along with one Independent legislator.

However, Bihar BJP Chief Samrat Choudhary had said, “Neither has Nitish Kumarji resigned nor has anybody withdrawn support. Only if something happens, then we will have any information. At present, the BJP wants to assess the situation of Bihar and then, we will make a decision accordingly.”

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