Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM, hands over letter of support from 128 MLAs

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar , who is also the leader of the JD(U). Photo: PTI

Weakening the opposition alliance ahead of the general election, JDU president Nitish Kumar on Sunday resigned as the Chief Minister of Bihar. He said  "things were not working well" for him in the Mahagathbandhan (or the grand alliance) he former with Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD less than 18 months ago.

Sources said he has given the letter of support of 128 legislators to the Governor Rajendra Arlekar. Kumar is expected to form the government with the BJP's support and would swear in at 5 pm, leading Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar reported.

Meanwhile, the BJP has named Samrat Choudhari as legislative leader and Vijay Sinha as his deputy. They are likely to be sworn in as deputy CMs along with Kumar in the evening.

Talking to reporters here after submitting his resignation, Kumar, who is expected to form a new government with the support of the BJP, said: "If the parties which were with me earlier agree to come together, you will get to know what happens next".

"I have submitted my resignation to the Governor. The government that was in place now comes to an end. I have let it go", said Kumar, who stopped briefly to talk to reporters outside the Raj Bhavan, which is a stone's throw from his official residence.

The 72-year-old leader indicated that he was not feeling happy with the way things were in the Mahagathbandhan in the state as well as the INDIA bloc that he helped take shape but which failed to adequately recognise his efforts.

"You all know how I came to this alliance and also how I worked to bring together so many parties. But of late things were not working well. It was not going down well with those in my party as well," said Kumar.

Earlier, Kumar held a meeting of the JDU legislature party, which authorised him to take any decision about the alliance.

According to the Raj Bhavan, Kumar has been asked to continue as caretaker Chief Minister till the formation of a new government.

The BJP is likely to come up with the offer of support and its national president Jagat Prakash Nadda, who is expected to be present at the swearing-in ceremony, is scheduled to arrive here around 3 p.m.

Kumar, however, did not reveal the cards saying:"The parties which I had earlier aligned with, if they come together again, things will take place. You all will get to know".

Kumar had joined the Mahagathbandhan in August 2022, when he had snapped ties with the BJP accusing it of trying to "split" his JDU. He formed a new government with a multi-party coalition that included RJD, Congress and three Left parties.

In the current 243-member Bihar Assembly, the JDU has 45 MLAs and the BJP 78. Kumar also has the support of one Independent member. Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha, which is already a part of the NDA, has four MLAs. 

The RJD (79) along with the Congress (19) and the Left parties (16) have a combined 114 MLAs, eight short of a majority.

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