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Sunday 26 January 2020

Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM after poor show in LS elections

A day after the Janata Dal (United) managed to get just 2 seats out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the State Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has submitted his resignation to governor DY Patil. Just a few hours before the development, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ramvilas Paswan had asserted that the Nitish Kumar Government would fall within months and mid-term Assembly polls would be held in October-November this year. Former JD(U) leader Devesh Chandra Thakur said that the party fared poorly in the Lok Sabha elections and the State government’s strength in the Vidhan Sabha had been reduced to a minority owing to the desertions. “Nitish Kumar did not have any other option. In such a situation Nitish Kumar took a right decision,” said Thakur who had left the JDU in early March 2014.

BJP leader and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had demanded Kumar’s resignation right after the election results were out. BJP leaders had been claiming for the last few weeks that 52 JD(U) MLAs were in touch with them and Kumar’s government would fall soon after Lok Sabha election results.

Nitish had remained inside his official residence throughout Friday and in the evening posted a one line post on Facebook: “I respect the people’s verdict.”

“When Lok Sabha results came yesterday I had said that I respect people’s mandate. I led my party’s election campaign in Bihar and I accept full responsibility for the results. We campaigned with dignity while our rivals kept up their vitriol and personal attacks. Our campaign was focussed on the work done by my government. My rivals indulged in mud-slinging but I kept my focus on development. I sought the mandate but we did not get it. Taking moral responsibility for the results I and my Council of Ministers have tendered our resignation,” Kumar said while addressing a press conference in Patna. “The elections results in Bihar suggests that there has been polarisation on communal lines. This should not have happened but this is the reality. People have given a clear mandate and we respect it,” he said. He also denied that he had recommended for dissolution of Assembly. “Any coalition can now form a government in Bihar,” he added.

Kumar’s resignation has come amid reports of dissent in the party following the poor show in the general elections. “He has taken responsibility for the loss, we decided to seek a fresh mandate,” JD(U) leader Ali Anwar said.

“Nitish Kumar government will not last long,” Paswan had said on Friday after results of general elections were announced. “Nitish Kumar should resign soon on moral grounds after the major debacle of his party in the polls,” LJP parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan had told mediapersons.

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had taken moral responsibility and so had other Congress chief ministers and offered to resign for their party’s poor performance, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told reporters in Patna.

BJP leaders who were in highly upbeat mood over the unexpected victory had started demanding CM’s resignation. Senior BJP leader Sushil Modi had said Nitish should quit on moral grounds.

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