Nitish Kumar says decision to resign as Bihar CM not emotional

In a fresh twist to the political drama brewing in Bihar, several JD(U) MLAs on Monday proposed the name of party chief Sharad Yadav for the next chief minister.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: May 19, 2014, 17:06 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Patna: Reiterating his moral responsibility for JD(U)`s poll debacle in Lok Sabha elections, Nitish Kumar on Monday clarified that his decision to resign as Bihar CM was not emotional, but based on principle.

Explaining that extraordinary situations needed extraordinary decisions, Nitish sought to justify his decision saying, "I explained my decision to other party members and now they are proud of my decision".

Nitish added that there were no fears regarding the stability of the JD(U) government in Bihar saying that the party still enjoyed complete authority of retaining the government as it has Congress support.

Scripting a climax to Bihar`s political drama, spiced up by many twists and turns, Nitish Kumar today put to rest all possibilities of him getting back at the helm of the state, by refusing to withdraw his resignation from the post of Bihar Chief Minister.

Nitish has, however, been authorised by the the JD(U) to pick the next CM, the party state chief Basisth Narayan Singh said Monday, according to a PTI report.

The decision was taken during the crucial JD(U)Legislative Party meet that was held today afternoon.

Few names in the fray for the CM post are: Bashistha Narayan Singh, Narendra Narayan Yadav, Bijendra Yadav, and Bijay Kumar Choudhary.

Earlier today, reports emerged that several JD(U) MLAs had proposed the name of party chief Sharad Yadav for the next chief minister.

Also, there are chances of someone from the extemely backward class (EBC) or dalit community to be elected as the new CM, added reports.

Confirming that Nitish Kumar won`t withdraw his resignation, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, earlier today, stated that the decision of Nitish Kumar to quit as Chief Minister is "final".

Speaking to the reporters, Yadav said that Nitish`s decision to resign was a difficult but right step and was taken in favour of the state, the party and Mr Kumar himself.

Yadav had earlier announced that a new leader will be elected and had also suggested that the JD(U) might enter into an alliance with Lalu Prasad`s Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Nitish`s decision to resign as CM came in wake of a severe poll debacle for the JD(U) in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, however the CM had sought some more time to decide after a majority of JD(U) MLAs protested against his resignation, unanimously wanting him back at the helm of the state.

However after JD(U) chief`s statement, and the reports that many in the party had proposed his name for the CM post, there were hardly any possibilities that Nitish would withdraw his resignation.

Nitish`s resignation kicked up a storm within the JD(U), revealing the rift within. The party saw itself divided between two - those supporting Nitish`s resignation and those vehemently opposed to it.

While on the one hand, scores of JD(U) leaders staged dharna outside CM Nitish Kumar`s residence, demanding him to withdraw his resignation; on the other hand party chief Sharad Yadav already put to rest the possibilities of Nitish coming back to the CM chair.

Despite JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav`s announcement that a new leader would be elected, scores of party MLAs continued protesting against Nitish`s decision with many fuming against Sharad Yadav, considering him the reason for Kumar`s resignation.

Yesterday, party general secretary KC Tyagi was the first one to call for Sharad Yadav`s resignation, holding him and not Nitish responsible for the poll drubbing.

Many leaders in the party were of the view that Nitish must stay as the CM, with JD(U) leader Sanjay Singh saying, “Without him, the state won`t progress”.
However a new twist was added to the convoluted political drama when a JD(U)leader named Anirudh Yadav claimed that the MLAs, who staged a vigorous show of support for Nitish Kumar, were forced to do so, according to reports.

He added that the JD (U) will loose the floor test if Nitish is re-elected as the chief minister.

Presently in Bihar Assembly, Nitish`s JD(U) has 117 MLAs, BJP has 90, RJD 24 and LJP just 3 seats.

Out of 24 RJD MLAs, three have already resigned.
Keeping in mind, possible untoward incidents, security was tightened outside Kumar`s residence where many JD(U) leaders and workers were staging a sit-in.

Yesterday a man, reportedly aggrieved over Kumar`s resignation, had attempted self-immolation outside the CM`s official residence.

The man in his late thirties was shouting slogans demanding Kumar to continue as Bihar CM.

Meanwhile, Nitish`s resignation has drawn flak from leaders of the BJP and the RJD, with many calling the Bihar CM a "drama king", accusing him of devising new tricks to stay in power.

Ram Kripal Yadav from Rashtriya Janata Dal called Nitish a big "draamebaaz", adding that his resignation was merely a part of his "game plan".

BJP leader Rameshwar Chaurasia also made similar remarks, calling the entire act as Nitish`s "nautanki" (drama, saying that he had "no moral responsibility as he had resigned thrice during Atalji`s tenure".

Another BJP leader Giriraj Singh also attacked Nitish, attributing the high-voltage political drama in Bihar to his hunger for power.

Singh said lashed out at Nitish Kumar, saying that he could stoop to any level to remain in power.

"Nitish can join hands with anyone for power, that’s why he had joined Congress," said Giriraj Singh.

Nitish Kumar tendered his resignation from the CM post yesterday, owning the moral responsibility for the party`s pathetic performance in Lok Sabha elections.

Out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the JD-U managed to win only two seats - a marked decline from 20 seats won in 2009 LS polls.

One of the reasons behind the poll debacle for the JD(U) is said to be the party`s decision last year, to pull away from a 17-year old alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party after Narendra Modi was chosen as the party`s PM candidate.

The pan-India Modi wave became quiet visible in Bihar, with the BJP winning 22 seats and its ally, the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) managing six. The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) won three and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) got four seats. RJD`s ally Congress just grabbed two and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) bagged one seat.