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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo/ANI)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo/ANI)

Nitish Kumar breaks ties with BJP, to take oath as Bihar CM on Wednesday; Tejashwi Yadav to be Deputy CM

ANI | Updated: Aug 09, 2022 22:49 IST

Patna (Bihar) [India], August 9 (ANI): Nitish Kumar is set to take oath as Bihar Chief Minister again on Wednesday after he rejoined hands with RJD and parted ways with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance on a day of high-paced political developments in Patna.
Nitish Kumar handed over his resignation to state Governor Phagu Chauhan following a rift in his party JD-U's ties with the BJP. He met the state Governor after a meeting of party leaders and then went to the residence of former Chief Minister Rabri Devi.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav is set to take oath as Deputy Chief Minister.
"The swearing-in ceremony of Honorable Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister will be held tomorrow at 2 pm at Raj Bhavan," RJD said in a tweet from its official handle.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lashed out at Nitish Kumar over his decision and said he had "disrespected the mandate given by the people of Bihar".
Nitish Kumar, who talked to the media with Tejashwi Yadav, said they have the support of seven parties in Mahagathbandhan.
"I came here to meet Governor and gave my resignation. There are 7 parties including 164 MLAs along with Independents in Mahagathbandahan," he told reporters. Kumar will be Bihar's Chief Minister for the eighth time.
Tejashwi Yadav attacked the BJP and claimed the party does not have an alliance partner across the Hindi heartland.
He accused BJP of trying to destroy parties with whom it forms alliances.
"Across the Hindi heartland, BJP does not have any alliance partner. History shows that the BJP destroys the parties with whom it forms alliances. We did see that happening in Punjab and Maharashtra," he said.
"Today all parties and members of the Bihar Legislative Assembly except the BJP have accepted Nitish Kumar as their leader," Yadav added.
He also referred to remarks of BJP president JP Nadda.
"JP Nadda said they will end regional parties. BJP knows only to intimidate and buy people. All of us wanted the BJP's agenda shouldn't be implemented in Bihar, we all know Laluji stopped the 'Rath' of Advaniji, and we won't relent at any cost," Yadav said.
Asked if Nitish Kumar could be Prime Ministerial candidate, Yadav said that it was a question to be answered by the JD-U leader but "he is a very experienced and mature leader".
Kumar, who was a long-time BJP ally before snapping ties in 2013 and again joining hands in 2017, said that there was a unanimous decision in the party meeting in the morning "to break off ties".
JD-U and BJP had fought the 2020 assembly polls together and Nitish Kumar was made the chief minister of the alliance though the BJP had won more seats. Nitish Kumar's ties with BJP stretched to over two decades and he was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1996.
JD-U leaders indicated that factors including the developments related to the exit of RCP Singh from the party had soured the ties with BJP. JD-U leaders have also been chaffing at the role of Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan during the 2020 assembly polls and have indicated that his putting up candidates from seats contested by the party had damaged it.
JD-U and RJD had fought the 2015 Bihar polls together. JD-U has 45 and the RJD has 79 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar assembly.
JD-U is the third major ally to leave the BJP in the past over three years after Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal.
Sources said Nitish Kumar called Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to express his gratitude for the Congress support in the formation of the new government in Bihar.
During the meeting of JD-U leaders in the morning, they conveyed their support for any decision taken by Nitish Kumar. Without naming Chirag Paswan, the legislators are reported to have recalled the actions of the former Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief during the 2020 state assembly polls while warning the CM that if they were not alert, it would not be good for the party.
Paswan had fielded his own candidates in all seats fought by the JD(U) in the 2020 polls, in what some have alleged was part of a plot of the BJP to consolidate its hold in the ruling coalition in the state.
A meeting of RJD-led Mahagathbandhan was also held at Rabri Devi's residence with the participation of leaders of the CPI-ML and the Congress. The meeting authorised Tejashwi Yadav to take an appropriate decision.
Sources said that RJD party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav has also been keeping a watch on the political developments in the state.
Addressing a press conference, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Nitish Kumar for breaking alliance between their parties and staking claim to form a government with RJD support and said he had "disrespected the mandate given by the people of Bihar".
BJP was trying to destroy his party...BJP made him a union minister several times. He was also made a Chief Minister. Why did he re-think his decision on alliance with RJD in 2015 and come to BJP in 2017?.""Nitish Kumar is disrespecting the mandate of Bihar's people. It's a baseless allegation that BJP was trying to destroy JD(U)," said the former union minister.
Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal also slammed Kumar.
"In the 2020 Bihar assembly elections, all of us contested under the NDA alliance and the majority and mandate was given by the people to JDU and BJP. However, as on date, Nitish played with the public mandate. JD(U) betrayed Bihar."
"We were successful in winning 74 seats, but we fulfilled the promise made by the Prime Minister and Nitish Kumar became the Chief Minister of this NDA alliance. However, whatever happened today is a betrayal of the people of Bihar and the BJP," he said. (ANI)