Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has resigned from his post. He made the announcement soon after he met the state governor, Keshari Nath Tripathi.File photo
Later speaking to reporters he said that he was only answering to the voice of his inner self adding that he had been thinking about this for quite sometime.
I had even Rahul Gandhi because I know he too shares my views (on corruption). He had torn ordinance (protecting corrupt politicians). But even he kept quiet and did not say anything,” Kumar said.
Kumar was under pressure to act against his deputy chief minister and the leader of his coalition party, the RJD, after the CBI began probe into corruption charges against him.
He said that he had only asked for a clarification on the corruption charges against RJD leader.
He said, “It’s not possible to work in this environment, I tried. Tried to found out a solution.”
There have been rumours that Kumar was getting close to the BJP, his former ally when he publicly defied the call for opposition unity during the presidential elections. Kumar’s party had chosen to vote for the BJP’s candidate, Ram Nath Kovind.
“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.
He said that his future alliance will depend on what was good for the interest of Bihar.
“I tried to work it out….I did not ask for anybody’s resignation…I just asked Tejashwi to explain the charges of corruption,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated him for his ‘fight against corruption.’
His tweet said, “I congratulate Nitish Kumar ji for joining the fight against corruption. 125 crore Indians are supporting and welcoming him.”
भ्रष्टाचार के ख़िलाफ़ लड़ाई में जुड़ने के लिए नीतीश कुमार जी को बहुत-बहुत बधाई।
सवा सौ करोड़ नागरिक ईमानदारी का स्वागत और समर्थन कर रहे हैं
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 26, 2017
Both Kumar and Modi were engaged in bitter personal campaign during the 2015 assembly polls when the latter had even questioned the former’s DNA.
Meanwhile, the BJP’s parliamentary meeting has begun in Delhi. Sources say that this is to decide on a possible coalition details with Kumar’s party, the JDU.
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 RJD headed by Tejashwi Yadav’s father Lalu Prasad, has 80. The BJP has 53.
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.”
Kumar, who led the grand alliance that also included the Congress to a stunning victory, was sworn in on November 20 2015.