NEW DELHI: Putting all speculations to rest, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday made a BIG announcement – ”alliance with the BJP is over.” Although a formal announcement is yet to be made in this regard, sources said that Nitish Kumar-led JDU has decided to part ways with the BJP during a crucial meeting of party MLAs.
The Bihar CM, who had sought time to meet Governor Phagu Chauhan in the evening, reportedly told the Janata Dal-United MLAs that his party’s alliance with the BJP is over now. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met with his party MLAs before coming to his decision on dumping the BJP for a second time.
#BiharPoliticalCrisis | Bihar CM and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar to meet Governor Phagu Chauhan today at 4pm, at Raj Bhavan.
During the crucial JDU meeting today, all MLAs and MPs of the party supported CM Nitish Kumar’s decision and said that they are with him. They said that they will always be with him, whatever he may decide, said sources.
The tension between the two parties has hit a breakpoint over Nitish Kumar’s concerns that Union Minister Amit Shah is working relentlessly to split the Janata Dal (United). The Bihar CM also blamed RCP Singh, a former JDU leader, for serving as Amit Shah’s proxy. It may be recalled that RCP Singh quit the JDU on the weekend after his party accused him of deep corruption.
The blame game has fuelled speculations of a rift between Bihar’s ruling JDU and the BJP. Meanwhile, Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan has given time to Nitish Kumar at 2 PM because ministers of the BJP will be meeting him at 1.30 PM, said sources. Nitish Kumar will then submit his resignation to the Governor.
Sources also said that all 16 ministers of the BJP will hand over their resignation letters to the Governor. The BJP ministers assembled at the official residence of Deputy Chief Minister Tar Kishore Prasad, from where they will go to the Raj Bhawan. The BJP will also organise a press meet at 1.30 p.m. in Patna to disclose its future strategy.
On the other hand, Congress and Left parties today handed over the lists of their legislators to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav. Mandan Mohan Singh, the state president of Congress said, “We will support Nitish Kumar if he leaves the BJP and forms a new government with the help of Mahagathbandhan. We have also given the list of all 19 MLAs of our party to RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.”
Mahboob Alam, the MLA of CPI (ML) said, “We have also given the list to Tejashwi Yadav. We will uproot the BJP from power. We are giving support to Nitish Kumar for the formation of a new government.” Sources said that Tejashwi Yadav has demanded the home ministry portfolio and the post of Speaker.
Interestingly, Nitish Kumar’s party supported NDA candidates in presidential and vice-presidential polls. However, his absence at a number of events, including the recent NITI Aayog meeting on Sunday, has further fuelled speculations about a widening rift between the two alliance partners.
The two parties have in the recent past squabbled on issues ranging from Agnipath Scheme, caste census, population law and the ban on loudspeakers to name a few.