Nitish Kumar has resigned as the chief minister of Bihar. The Janata Dal (United) leader submitted his resignation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Wednesday.
He cited irreconcilable differences with ally RJD on the issue of corruption charges against his deputy Tejashwi Yadav for his decision.
"In the circumstances that prevail in Bihar, it became difficult to run the grand alliance government,” Kumar told reporters outside Raj Bhavan after submitting his resignation to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi. He did not rule out taking BJP’s support for forming a new government.
Asked if he will now form a government with BJP’s support, he said,”Whatever had to happen has happened. Now see what happens next.”
His stunning move came after Lalu Yadav reiterated earlier today that his son, Tejashwi, would not quit as No 2 in the government despite being caught in a corruption scandal. "I did not ask for anyone's resignation," said Kumar, "but I told Tejashwi and Lalu that they must explain the charges publicly. The atmosphere had become such that it was impossible to work," he said, adding "my conscience told me to quit."
Kumar has recently called on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to intervene and convince RJD leadership that Tejashwi must resign in the interest of the alliance and smooth functioning of the government.
The sudden development throws the politics of Bihar into chaos with no party having a majority in the 243-member Assembly. Kumar’s JD(U) has 71 seats, while the RJD has 80. The BJP has 53. If the BJP and its allies extend support to Kumar and he chooses to accept it, the numbers of the new arrangement will go well past the half-way mark at 129.
Meanwhile PM Modi tweeted in support of Kumar; congratulating the latter for joining the fight against corruption.